Just days before Thanksgiving, the White House Coronavirus Task Force released a report stating that Florida was in a “viral resurgence." But despite this, and rising positivity cases and hospitalizations, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey gathered roughly 75 people for his agency’s “8th Annual Turkey Bowl Flag Football Game.”
In a Nov. 26 Facebook post, Ivey showed a photo of approximately 75 mask-less people who participated in the event. “The annual event is not only an opportunity for our team to enjoy some friendly competition, but is also a time of fellowship with our BCSO Family!!,” wrote the elected official.
Feedback on the post featured a range of people thanking their sheriff and his employees for their service, and others shaming Ivey for creating a possible super-spreader event.
“Great job risking lives, your own and others, by just simply not wearing a mask or social distancing in order to *checks notes* play a game,” wrote one commenter. “So the whole department is quarantined?” wrote another.
According to the post the event was between the “Command Team” and members of the Sheriff’s Office from various units.
Creative Loafing Tampa Bay reached out to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Anticipating a post-holiday coronavirus surge, the Centers for Disease Control updated its recommendations for gatherings on Nov. 17, urging people not to mix different households together, to continue to wear masks, remain six-feet apart, and avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs, all of which were apparently ignored during Ivey's football game.
Meanwhile, more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last seven days, and here in Florida more than 80% of counties have moderate or high levels of community transmission, says the White House report.
On Monday, Florida added 97 more reported fatalities, bringing the death toll to 18,597, reports the Department of Health. The state also added 6,659 new positive COVID-19 cases to bring the total to 999,319.
Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.