JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Thousands of people are expected to attend President Trump's rally and the Jacksonville Jaguars game Thursday night, which is concerning to health officials amid COVID-19.
“When you see a lot people out and things start to loosen up, the tendency is to let that guard down,” said Dr. David Cara, UF Health Jacksonville Disaster Medical Officer.
Not everyone is wearing masks and not everyone is practicing social distancing, which is why big events make some health officials nervous.
“There’s a potential that a couple days from now, 10 days, 14 days out, we might start to see a spike in numbers,” Cara said.
Cara said he understands people are eager to have a feeling of normalcy, but it’s important we stay vigilant.
“We want to be as careful as we can because we want to protect the most vulnerable in our population,” Cara said.
Both the Jaguars and the Trump campaign have put some safety measures in place.
Over at TIAA Bank field, masks are required. Parking spots are marked off to separate fans and discourage tailgating.
At the Trump rally, masks are not required, but the campaign will provide masks and encourage people to wear them.
There is a mask mandate in Duval county, so some may wonder why it is not being enforced at the Trump rally. Nikki Kimbleton with the City of Jacksonville said the mandate only requires masks to be worn when people are indoors and cannot social distance, and the Trump rally will be held outside.
All attendees will have their temperatures checked before entering the venue.
Cara says if large events will be held, it is at least good they are putting safety measures in place.
“We’re not out of this pandemic,” Cara said. “We want to do best practices. This goes with handwashing, how we deal with folks that are around us. We want to be as careful as we can.”