Risk of contracting COVID-19 at Eagles games ‘quite finite,’ Dr. Bettigole says

Acting Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole on Monday morning stated that the chances of contracting COVID-19 at an outdoor Eagles game was "quite finite" as opposed to a smaller indoor gathering. 

In an appearance on Good Day Philadelphia, Dr. Bettigole discussed the impact large events like Made in America and sporting events could have on the city's COVID-19 case counts. 

She began by pointing out that Philadelphia's recent average daily case counts were the highest back on Sept. 4 at 313 cases per day. As of Sunday, Sept. 12, the city is down to 212 cases per day on average. 

"Today, things look considerably better than they did a week or two ago," Dr. Bettigole stated as she noted that kids heading back to school and an increase in testing could lead to future spikes in case counts. 

In the aftermath of Made in America, which occurred Labor Day weekend, numbers actually dropped instead of rising as some had anticipated. Made in America required vaccinations or testing and masks, which Dr. Bettigole believes helped protect people. 

"I would expect if we were going to see a spike from Made in America, I wouldn't have expected to see numbers going down this past weekend," Dr. Bettigole said. "Again, that was an outdoor festival, it required vaccination or a recent (negative) test. It supposedly required masks, although I think we all know that wasn't followed that closely. This, again, is why we layer mitigation."

Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will return to Lincoln Financial Field in front of a full capacity crowd for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. FOX 29's Mike Jerrick asked if the Department of Health was concerned about potential spread at Eagles games. 


"Everyone wants to talk about Eagles' games. I want to talk about indoors," Dr. Bettigole began. "I'll tell you, I am much, much more worried about gatherings of, say 30 to 50 teenagers having a little party indoors than I am about that Eagles game." 

When it comes to Eagles games, which are obviously outdoors, Dr. Bettigole says the risk of contracting the virus in that environment is "quite finite." 

She compared the seating arrangement in a stadium setting to a tic-tac-toe board, noting that it's really only those eight people directly around you that are your risk in an outdoor setting. 

"The odds that any one of those eight people is somebody who active COVID right now is relatively small, as opposed to that packed indoor party where your risk is everybody in that room," she said. 

"We just need to pay a lot more attention to what we're doing indoors," she added. 

You can watch her full interview in the video above. 



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