KCMO Health Department addresses concerns over Chiefs watch parties at Power and Light

COVID Safety Guidelines Sign at P&L
Posted at 8:38 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 00:09:42-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Images of excited Chiefs fans celebrating at the Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, during Sunday's AFC Divisional win against the Cleveland Browns worried some on social media.

Many wondered why some people in the crowd weren't wearing masks, calling it a possible "super spreader" event.

"COVID is real and, if they take that risk, it's their risk," Majorie Spalding, a Chiefs fan who spoke to 41 Action News on Thursday at Power and Light, said. "We wear our masks."

During Sunday's game, some people even tagged KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas in tweets, expressing concern about the watch parties.

Lucas responded Monday noting that, "consistent with our health orders, we will visit with promoters, entertainment districts, and other venues to ensure all comply with city rules and are safe as we cheer on our team."

Despite the complaints floating around on social media, the KCMO Health Department said Thursday that it has not received "any complaints pertaining to watch parties in the Power & Light district over the weekend."

But a spokesperson said the health department planned to "reach out to our contacts at Power & Light and address the concerns with them."

"I'm less worried about them (fans) being outside than I am them being in a crowded bar inside than I would be about them here," Robin Allen, another Chiefs fan at Power and Light on Thursday, said.

Signs all over the entertainment district remind patrons that masks are required, except when seated at a socially distanced table or when actively drinking or eating. That's in line with the mayor's latest emergency order, which requires masks be worn outdoors when social distancing of at least six feet can't be maintained.

Fans say while that helps, there is still a risk.

"You have the outdoor element out here that helps but probably a larger crowd, so 50-50," Max Bellmann, a Chiefs fan who was walking Thursday outside Power and Light, said of the potential health risks.

Power and Light said in a statement that it takes safety seriously, but its bars and restaurants will be open when the Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game, which kicks off at 5:40 p.m. Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium:

"The safety of our patrons and employees is always our top priority. Like many restaurants and bars throughout Kansas City, our individual venues who are open will be open for regular business and will be showing the game under the current City of Kansas City and Kansas City Health Department’s restrictions. We are in constant communication with the Health Department to ensure our venues are providing a safe experience for all guests, every day of the week."

The KCMO Health Department added that it will have investigators at future events.