THIS Super Bowl Sunday, Dr Anthony Fauci is urging Americans to refrain from throwing traditional watch parties in order to save lives.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert warned that Super Bowl LV could become a coronavirus superspreader event if Americans gather like they did for the holidays.
“The one thing you don’t want to do, you don’t want to be somebody that’s putting a damper on anything, but you don’t want parties with people that you haven’t had much contact with,” Fauci said on ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday.
“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 said “now is not the time” for parties and compared the Super Bowl, which kicks off at 6:30pm ET on Sunday, to Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
“Every time we do have something like this, there always is a spike,” Fauci said on NBC’s Today Show.
“Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household.”
Days earlier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines recommending that Americans cancel large watch parties in order to stay safe.
“Gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest way to celebrate the Super Bowl this year,” CDC officials said.
“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.”
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The game between the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is taking place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The venue is set to welcome spectators at one-third capacity, with 7,500 health care workers who have already had the Covid-19 vaccine, along with 14,500 fans.
As of Wednesday, the US has experienced more than 450,000 Covid-19 deaths and more than 26.5million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.