The nation’s top health experts are cautioning that Americans should not gather indoors with people outside their households to watch the Super Bowl this weekend.
White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that people should “just lay low and cool it” if they are thinking about hosting a Super Bowl party that could potentially turn into a coronavirus-spreader event.
Big sporting events like Sunday’s game in Tampa, Florida, between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are always a cause for concern, he added.
“You don’t want parties with people that you haven’t had much contact with,” Fauci said Wednesday on NBC’s Today.
“You just don’t know if they’re infected, so as difficult as that is, at least this time around, just lay low and cool it.”
The National Football League has capped game attendance at twenty-two thousand because of the ongoing pandemic and citywide coronavirus mandates.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shared similar sentiments regarding Super Bowl parties.
“Whichever team you’re rooting for and whichever commercial is your favorite, please watch the Super Bowl safely, gathering only virtually or with the people you live with,” she said Wednesday at a White House COVID-19 briefing.
“We must take prevention and intervention seriously.”
The CDC has already published on its website guidance on how to safely watch the big game.
“Gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest way to celebrate the Super Bowl this year,” the agency wrote. “If you do have a small gathering with people who don’t live with you, outdoors is safer than indoors. This year, choose a safer way to enjoy the game.”
If people do decide to gather with members of other households, the CDC suggested that everyone should wear a mask, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently, and watch the game in a well-ventilated space.
Walensky noted that the number of daily new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continues to fall but asserted that “now is not the time to let our guard down.”
She contended that new, more contagious coronavirus variants that have surfaced in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil threaten to undo progress the United States has made amid the yearlong pandemic.
Jeff Zients, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, mentioned on Wednesday that President Joe Biden’s administration is continuously looking to increase the number of Americans getting inoculated every day.
More than fifty-two million doses of the potentially life-saving vaccines have been distributed to states, according to the latest data from the CDC, but fewer than thirty-four million doses have been administered.
“We’ve activated a whole-of-government response,” Zients said. “We have increased vaccine supply. And we are ensuring that all Americans in every community have more places to get vaccinated.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.