No masks, thousands of fans; Doctors share concern ahead of Garth Brooks concert at Arrowhead


WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 04: Garth Brooks performs at The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize tribute concert at DAR Constitution Hall on March 04, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of fans plan to welcome one of country music’s biggest stars to Arrowhead this weekend. More than 60,000 people are expected to be cheering when Garth Brooks takes the stage Saturday night.

While the Chiefs recommend masks for anyone attending the concert who isn’t vaccinated, masks are not required inside the stadium, even with Kansas City’s mask mandate. Arrowhead is considered to be an outdoor facility and the city’s emergency order only mandates masks indoors.

The anticipated lack of masks at the popular concert concerns some Kansas City doctors.

“Here’s my personal preference, if you’re in a really big public space like that, with a whole lot of people, I think I’m gonna wear a mask there,” Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health System, said.

Stites also pointed out that the concert is outdoors and said that is the one promising aspect of it from a safety standpoint. Dr. Dana Hawkinson, infection prevention medical director at the University of Kansas Health System, agreed.

“Unless there is a pit area where there is no specific seat but you are all crammed together, I think you’re a little more dense at this point in time, you’re a little bit more close together, probably easier to spread,” Hawkinson said. “But, I would think areas such as seats or the walkways or things of that nature, you’re probably gonna be safe, just understand that situation around you.”

According to the Chiefs website, workers will sanitize high-touch areas before and during the concert. There will also be hand sanitizer available throughout the stadium.

One thing that some may not be aware of is the state of Kansas still requires people to quarantine if they are not vaccinated, but are attending a mass gathering out of state where masks and social distancing are not practiced.

The Garth Brooks concert at Arrowhead meets those quarantine requirements.

The Chiefs and Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department plans to hold a vaccination clinic Saturday before the concert begins.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted that he expects anyone vaccinated at Saturday’s clinic to have a chance to win seat upgrades in a raffle.

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