INDIANAPOLIS — The stage is set for a weekend of concerts on Monument Circle to celebrate Monday’s College Football National Championship Game between Alabama and Georgia.
The stage is also set for more than 100,000 fans and visitors to come to the Circle City, and that’s got some folks taking to social media to express concern about gathering amid the latest COVID-19 surge here.
A tweet makes it clear what one doctor from the IU School of Medicine thinks about how the city’s balancing public health during a COVID surge, while hosting a national championship game with thousands of fans.
"What frustrates me is that Indy had the national platform to lead and show the importance of public health by enacting a mask ordinance, proof of vaccination or on-site antigen testing for game admission," tweeted Dr. Gabriel Bosslet. "Instead our leaders elected to do nothing. It makes me sad."
Monday’s game comes just as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Indiana during this latest surge, at a time when hospital systems have teamed up to launch a public service campaign, letting the public know one message: "We’re at our breaking point."
The campaign pleads for people to get vaccinated, get the booster shot, get tested and mask up.
While the Marion County Public Health Department says it has made those same recommendations, none of those are required to get into Monday’s championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium or the events leading up to it, both at Monument Circle or the Indiana Convention Center.
Local hotels are booked solid to host more than 100,000 expected guests, leading to a $150 million economic impact.
The health department issued a statement which said they are continuing to provide health safety recommendations for Lucas Oil Stadium and the College Football Championship Game and that they are working with their other partners to safely host the event.
The statement recommended safety measures to help stop the spread of COVID, saying, "this includes wearing a mask indoors in public spaces regardless of vaccination status, social distancing, staying home and away from public spaces when sick, washing hands frequently and covering coughs and sneezes."
The Marion County Public Health Department plans to have a mobile vaccination clinic on site Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.