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Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs' comeback Super Bowl win against the San Francisco 49ers in February may have limited the spread of the coronavirus by preventing a championship parade in the Bay Area, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The hundreds of thousands of fans celebrating in the streets of San Francisco would have created a prime environment for a contagious virus to spread. The parades in Oakland for the Golden State Warriors' recent championships attracted crowds of between 500,000 to 1.5 million fans, according to WSJ.

The backdrop: Medical experts had only identified a few cases of the virus in the U.S. on Feb. 2 — the day of the Super Bowl — but Santa Clara County in California reported its second case that morning.

  • Neighboring San Benito County also confirmed person-to-person transmission of the virus between a man who’d recently traveled to Wuhan, China, and his wife later that day.

What they're saying: “It may go down in the annals as being a brutal sports loss, but one that may have saved lives," Bob Wachter, the chair of UCSF’s department of medicine, told WSJ.

The big picture: San Francisco is considered the model for containing the virus early in the U.S. and flattening the curve of patients admitted to emergency rooms.

  • The Bay Area has reported more than 5,300 cases and 146 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.