PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Most of the Philadelphia region has turned red on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s  COVID-19 transmission map, which means it’s at the highest level of community spread. Now, there’s growing concern over large events becoming super spreaders for the virus.

Health officials are holding yet another press conference on Friday at 10 a.m. in regards to the city’s response to the pandemic.

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Meantime, there’s a growing concern that some outdoor events could become super spreaders due to the highly contagious Delta variant.


With most of the Philadelphia area turning red on the COVID transmission map, some of the hot spots are Philadelphia, all of South Jersey and Delaware.

“I think we’re at a dangerous time,” Dr. Tony Reed, the Chief Medical Officer of Temple Health, said. 

Reed said the summer surge in cases is fueled by people who aren’t vaccinated. Meanwhile, his hospital staff is now bracing for yet another influx of COVID-19 patients.

“There’s a lot of frustration, consternation, and a lot of, ‘Oh geez, are we ready for this again?’” Reed said. “There’s not a person inside the building who isn’t saying, ‘Why won’t people get vaccinated? What’s wrong? Why are they not seeing, not hearing? Why are they not helping themselves?’”

“As we hold the hands of dying patients, that’s what’s going through our minds,” he added.

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Earlier this week, city health officials enacted a new indoor mask mandate to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

“This is not the summer any of us imagined,” Acting Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said. “We will be watching the numbers closely, we may need to adjust the safety measures if they continue to rise.”

And now, increasing concern about sporting events that attract thousands of fans could be unsafe.


Even though outdoor events are considered safer, masking isn’t required everywhere. Due to the Delta variant being so contagious, there’s worry some events could become super spreaders.

“It’s still in the air, it’s still out there,” Reed said. “This is where social distancing still plays a factor.”

Reed added he would attend a game if he was sitting by himself in his own section. 

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The CDC recommends that people wear masks at crowded public events, and health experts say the best protection against COVID is to get fully vaccinated.