Horns down, cases up? Local health expert concerned about COVID-19 clusters following Razorback football win over Texas


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Razorback fans stormed the field after the Hogs’ victory over classic rival Texas last Saturday, reveling in a win that propelled the Hogs back into a top-25 ranking for the first time since 2016. Though the Hogs won handily, a local health expert said she’s concerned clusters of COVID-19 spread could spoil the fun.

Dr. Marti Sharkey is Fayetteville’s Chief Health Expert. She said healthcare professionals worried about COVID-19 before the game certainly didn’t feel any better about it after.

“All of us are very happy that the Hogs won but anxious about what the next few days are going to hold,” Sharkey said.

Sharkey said she’s particularly concerned about watch parties people held across the state, noting COVID-19 spreads easier in indoor settings, but the packed stadium and storming of the field also gave her pause.

“There weren’t a lot of masks,” Sharkey said. “It does give me worry.”

Sharkey said one good piece of news is that data doesn’t indicate Labor Day precipitated any major COVID-19 case spikes, something many health experts feared prior to the holiday. She said she hopes that turns out the be the case after the Razorback game.

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