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Ahead Of Big Weekend In Pittsburgh, Doctors Recommend Masking Up Even If It's Not Required

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It's another event-filled weekend in Pittsburgh. Tens of thousands of people are expected to be out and about on the city streets.

After a year of virtually running, the City of Pittsburgh Great Race is returning this weekend with thousands of people taking part. There's also Pens training camp, and another Steelers home game.

With all of these events, doctors say it's still best to mask up even if you aren't required.

"Anytime you're in large groups, if you're not vaccinated, you are taking your life into your own hands," AHN Doctor of Internal Medicine Dr. Brian Lamb said.

Large groups have been the theme of the past few weekends in Pittsburgh, with life returning to some sense of normalcy, even though we're still in a COVID world.

With a return to glory, the City of Pittsburgh Great Race has more than 7,000 people set to take part through the weekend. Race director Brian Katze says they've had to make some changes, but it's worth it.

"Instead of having one mass start at 9:30 a.m. like we traditionally do, we're doing a rolling start this year. From 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., you can show up at any time within that window to start your race," said Katze.

Katze says they'll also be ditching the post-race awards ceremony, and they'll be asking runners to wear masks as much as possible when they aren't putting foot to pavement.

"When you're in the corral up until the start time, keep that mask on. Keep it in your pocket when you're running. We will have to require them on buses if you're riding them to the start line because those are Port Authority buses and that is a federal mandate," Katze said.

If you're going to watch the Pens at training camp, the team is one of seven in the NHL not requiring masks. However, doctors say even if you are vaccinated, it's in everybody's best interest to heed safety precautions.

"You're going to get some protection from having the vaccine, but you need to do everything you can to give yourself that extra protection," said Lamb.

Lamb says AHN has seen an increase in COVID patients since Labor Day weekend. But the organizers of the Great Race say they're doing everything they can to prevent the event from turning into a super spreader so they can continue without any restrictions next year.


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