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KC mayor: Celebrate Chiefs with COVID-19 in mind

By The Associated Press

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is a big fan of the Chiefs, but he couldn't help but worry as he watched news coverage of fans celebrating close together after the team's 22-17 NFL playoff game win over Cleveland.

Now, with the Chiefs hosting Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Lucas is urging fans to keep COVID-19 preventative measures in mind as they gather to watch.

Lucas noticed that some celebrating fans were not wearing masks and not following social distancing guidelines. He said the city will touch base with entertainment districts to make sure crowds next weekend don't leave "a lot of people sick around the Super Bowl."

The AFC winner earns a spot in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 against the NFC winner. Tampa Bay plays at Green Bay in the NFC game on Sunday.

Lucas said it's safer to watch and celebrate with family rather than high-fiving strangers, and safer to watch outside if the weather allows.

"We all have to celebrate responsibly," Lucas said, adding that the city has "a lot more work to do as we fight COVID."

Missouri has reported 440,197 confirmed cases and 6,263 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began early last year. The state health department's COVID-19 dashboard on Tuesday offered some reason for hope: The number of new cases dropped 40% over the past seven days compared to the previous seven-day period, and deaths dropped 50%.

But hospitals across Missouri are still dangerously full. The state dashboard showed that just 22% of in-patient beds were available, and 21% of intensive care unit beds were available.