More than 40,000 visitors are expected to flock to Atlanta this weekend for a cheerleading competition—pandemic be damned. Photos posted to Twitter of Cheersport Nationals, the nation’s biggest cheerleading competition, appeared show thousands of people congregating close to one another without masks. According to local news, public health officials have expressed alarm over the event. Georgia hit its highest-ever number of COVID deaths the day the competition began. Varsity Spirit, which runs Cheersport Nationals, has implemented extra cleaning, required competitors to wear masks except when performing, and barred them from watching other teams. But photos appear to show little compliance with the rules.
The company’s site reads, “By attending this event, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.” Varsity Spirit canceled an in-person competition in Texas earlier this week, holding it virtually instead. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.