Football fans are being urged to avoid gathering in-person for Super Bowl parties on Sunday, over fears that the event will lead to a surge in COVID-19 infections. Experts are providing tips on how to stay safe, while others are sharing advice on how to throw a great virtual party.
Tampa, Florida, the host city of the Super Bowl, faces two seemingly opposite challenges at once this weekend: celebrating its home team’s slot in the game, while keeping it from becoming an embarrassing superspreader event.
A quarter of Americans plan to attend a Super Bowl party, a recent Seton Hall Sports Poll found. That is worrisome to some health experts who note that other events celebrated with widespread get-togethers, such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, have been accompanied by a jump in infections. Although cases are trending down across the nation and vaccinations are underway, caseloads remain high and most Americans have not yet been inoculated.
“Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household.” Dr. Anthony Fauci advised.
“We’ve had to withhold a number of events that we would normally do. Those events that are being held are being held outside in a distanced fashion as we want to keep everyone as safe as possible,” said NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills.
Even the team travel will be different this year. The Chiefs will head to Tampa closer to Super Bowl Sunday – and players from both teams have self-quarantined as much as possible over the last several weeks and will isolate in their hotels immediately leading up to the game.
“As a collaborative team we were able to navigate our way through some pretty challenging situations – and hopefully that level of collaboration and cooperation will continue through and otherwise as we look for other ways to improve the health and safety of our sport,” said Miller.