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Doctors offer tips on how to stay safe as big events return to the Queen City

Some venues are opening at 100% capacity with face coverings optional.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As COVID-19 cases surge, lots of big events and festivals are moving forward as planned in the Queen City this weekend.

Carolina Panthers Fan Fest is Friday night, the Charlotte African American Festival is on Saturday and Spectrum Center will host the Harlem Globetrotters on Sunday.

Carolina Panthers Fan Fest is making a comeback after the event didn't happen in 2020.

Dr. Joseph Khabbaza, MD, pulmonary and critical care physician for Cleveland Clinic said risk of transmission of COVID-19 at outdoor events remains low, but it's still important to keep safety in mind.

Mecklenburg County health officials have warned the highly contagious delta variant is spreading throughout the community.

"When going to any festival or event where there are a lot of people, try to find a corner where you are able to distance from people you don't know,” Dr. Khabbaza said.

Face coverings are not required at Bank of America Stadium, but a Tepper Sports and Entertainment spokesperson said it's recommended that fans follow the current guidance of local public health officials and exercise good judgement. Many of the same protocols that were utilized in 2020 will remain, including cashless transactions, mobile-only ticketing and enhanced cleaning procedures.

Spectrum Center is moving forward with plans to reopen at 100% capacity this weekend when it hosts the Harlem Globetrotters.

Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures, upgraded air filtration and purification standards, increased number of sanitizing stations, mobile ticketing, cashless transactions and touchless security will all be part of the experience.

Even though some guidelines are relaxed, Khabbaza said if you are unvaccinated, you may want take extra steps for protection.

"If you go out in a setting and get ill and contract COVID, there's a high chance of that spreading to your kids or other unvaccinated family members,” Khabbaza said. “So, a lot of those precautions still need to be thought about."

Khabbaza also recommends researching the location of the event before you buy tickets. If there is a high infection rate in that city, you may want to reconsider.

Contact Kendall Morris at kmorris2@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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