Now that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are behind us, there’s only one potential super spreader event causing public health officials concern.
This Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The country is more than overdue for a welcomed distraction complete with dumb commercials and a long list of well-regarded music acts. However, despite all the merriment, until COVID-19 outbreaks are under control, experts are imploring Super Bowl Party hosts to limit gatherings.
The CDC recently published Guidance instructing those who plan on attending a Super Bowl Party this upcoming weekend on how to limit their risk of transmission.
“Avoid crowding and congested areas, avoid chanting or cheering, limit alcohol consumption, wear a mask, and minimize your time with others,” the agency wrote.
“Attending large gatherings like the Super Bowl increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci of the US Coronavirus Task Force has expressed a more critical view, telling the press that the public should avoid hosting guests that are not their immediate family for Super Bowl Parties altogether.
“As much fun as it is to get together for a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that,” he said. “Watch the game, enjoy it, but do it with your family or people that are in your household.”
The risk mostly concerns the impossibility of vetting every attendee at a large event like a Super Bowl Party before admission. Given that some patients who contract COVID don’t exhibit characteristic symptoms (including fever), the only sure-fire to avoid getting ill is social distancing.
“You don’t want parties with people that you haven’t had much contact with, 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,” Fauci continued. “Every time we do have something like this, there always is a spike, be it a holiday, Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving. Super Bowl is a big deal in the US.”
According to National Health Systems, Thanksgiving celebrations alone saw case numbers in the U.S. rise above 200,000 a day. This marked a record high at the time. Christmas and New Year’s gatherings subsequently surged case number passed 300,000 on January 8th.
7,500 tickets have been reserved for vaccinated health care workers. While 14,500 seats will only be sold to fans who have either been previously inoculated or tested before entering the stadium, and the remaining 2,700 fans will be allowed to view the game from luxury boxes.
All of the fans in attendance will receive KN95 masks and hand sanitizer upon entry.