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’Avoid cheering’; CDC issues guidance for a safe Super Bowl watch party

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Posted at 11:16 AM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 11:16:02-05

The number of new coronavirus cases is plateauing or declining in some areas, but health experts warn this is not the time to abandon safety measures in order to watch the Super Bowl.

The CDC issued guidance for watching the big game, similar to guidance they issued for celebrating the holidays, and not surprisingly, they recommend watching the game at home with the people already in the home.

The Super Bowl usually means snacks, beverages and large gatherings in homes, restaurants or bars to watch the two top NFL teams and the highly-paid commercials.

This year, make it a smaller event, and consider losing the snacks and beverages so guests can wear their masks the whole time.

For those attending a watch party with people outside their household, the CDC has the following recommendations:

  • Call ahead to ensure the venue or location has steps in place to prevent the spread of the virus (ask about air ventilation, sanitizer, mask policy, capacity, etc.)
  • Wear a mask at all times
  • Use touchless payment methods if available
  • Give people space; follow social distancing recommendations inside and out
  • Consider arriving early to avoid crowding and congested areas
  • Avoid using the restroom or concessions areas at “high traffic times,” like half-time or other breaks in the game
  • Avoid chanting or cheering; stomp, clap, or bring hand-held noisemakers instead

Since the coronavirus can spread through droplets in the air, singing, chanting, yelling, or other vocal actions can spread the virus more quickly. A computer model from researchers at MIT showed just how much riskier an indoor gathering was if people are singing or talking loudly.

The CDC also recommends people minimize the time they spend in a restaurant, bar or concession area, “the longer you stay, the more you increase your risk.”

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor disagree on which team will win on Sunday, but they agree on everyone having a safe watch party. They echo much of the CDC’s guidance in a PSA created this week.