KC mayor warns against typical Chiefs game gatherings as playoffs ramp up, pandemic rages on

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The pandemic remains a concern for local health officials as the Kansas City Chiefs play in the AFC Championship game this weekend at Arrowhead Stadium. 

One year ago, the Chiefs won the AFC Championship game. Fans hope for the same outcome Sunday. 

“It’s really exciting to hear about the hype and how well they’re doing,” Chiefs fan Tara Bergman said.

“Let’s go, Chiefs!” Obiba Abu Zareafeh shouted Tuesday.

“One more game, and we’re going to take the whole thing,” Chiefs fan LaDarius Jamerson said.

Although it’s easy to get lost in the hype, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has cautioned residents to not let the postseason excitement overshadow the need to be safe.

“Something we are concerned about — and don’t get me wrong, I am so excited about the Chiefs playoff run — house parties,” Lucas said. “A lot of the things we actually thought to be concerned during the holidays kind of come in this holiday season part two.”

The mayor talked with doctors at the University of Kansas Health System on Tuesday. He wants to remind people that attending large, maskless gatherings like years past is not a way to win this fight against COVID-19.

“Keep Mahomes safe. Wear your darn mask,” KU Health System’s Dr. Steve Stites said.

Fans that FOX4 talked to are happy to stay home and stay safe. 

“As long as I watch it, I’m good,” Abu Zareafeh said.

“I’m staying my butt home because we’re still in a serious pandemic,” Jamerson said. “And as much as I want to be in the environment — it’s my favorite. I grew up in marching band doing it — this time just stay home and be with just like two or three people and eat finger foods and chill!”

“I can’t wait to watch it on Sunday and then the Super Bowl,” new Chiefs fan Meg Moynihan said.

Of course, on this Run It Back journey, many fans can’t help but think about a possible parade. Without jinxing it, Lucas said if we get there, the celebration won’t be the same as last year due to the pandemic. 

“A Chiefs parade in the classic sense as we knew it is highly unlikely, and it won’t happen,” Lucas said, “but there will be different ways that we come up to try to celebrate.”

You could celebrate by treating yourself to new Chiefs gear, like Jamerson, who showed off a new sweatshirt Tuesday.

“I literally just got it,” he said.

Jamerson has a few other ideas for fans to celebrate, as we take the playoffs one game at a time. 

“You know what, safety first. We have a reason to celebrate, might as well still celebrate at home,” Jamerson said. “Get your instrument out, play it in your room, do whatever, just celebrate.”

The Chiefs take on the Buffalo Bills for the ACF title Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. 

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