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The Classic and COVID: State Health Officer has advice to keep you safe

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 10:04 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re less than 24 hours away from the largest HBCU football game in the country.

The 80th Annual Magic City Classic kicks off at Legion Field Saturday afternoon.

But we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and doctors are weighing in about whether it’s a good idea for people to gather at large events.

People have been waiting two long years for the Magic City Classic to return to Legion Field in the fall, but the state’s health officer said you’ll want to use common sense before you head out.

The coronavirus pandemic delayed the Magic City Classic in 2020.

It was pushed to spring, but the turnout wasn’t the same as previous years.

But on Saturday, thousands of fans are expected to pack the “Old Gray Lady,” and the state’s health officer has some thoughts about that.

“People have, in most cases, stopped considering public health recommendations or the science on that in a lot of cases. People want to be back to normal, but we still have a lot of disease transmission out there,” said State Health Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, Dr. Scott Harris.

Legion Field can hold a little more than 72,000 fans.

Organizers want every seat filled and said COVID protocols will be in place.

“Mask mandatory for entry into Legion Field and also, when you’re not actively eating or drinking, please have on your mask. You can still be loud. Again, you’re going to still be here with all your friends and family pulling for your team or pulling for the culture in general. So, definitely masks on,” said Executive Director of the Magic City Classic, Perren King.

It will be difficult to socially distance with a packed stadium, and if other football games are any indication, the likelihood of fans keeping their faces covered Is low.

That’s why Dr. Harris said it’s important to use your best judgement.

“Outdoor events we feel a little better about than indoor events. If you’re…you know…someone who’s at risk for serious illness, you really need to be thinking closely about getting together with groups of people whose vaccination status you don’t know,” Dr. Harris said.

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