The Centers for Disease Control is urging those hosting parties for this year’s Super Bowl to make sure fans avoid any cheering, shouting or singing as they watch the game.
The federal agency has issued Super Bowl-specific guidelines aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 ahead of next Sunday’s showdown, which encourage fans to gather virtually this year or to attend an outdoor viewing party.
While it recommends these as the safest options amid the pandemic, if sport junkies do hold a party, they are reminded to keep it small with masks being worn and social distancing maintained.
And those supporting the Kansas City Chiefs or Tampa Bay Buccaneers are advised to ‘avoid shouting, cheering loudly, or singing’ as they do so, instead making some noise for their team by clapping, stomping their feet, or using hand-held noisemakers instead.
It comes as LA residents on Friday learned that they would not be able to watch the game at a bar as county officials ruled that all televisions or other screens must stay switched off until further notice.
Kansas City Chiefs fans at a Super Bowl watch party in February 2020. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has called a stop to any similar parties as the Chiefs compete this year
A restaurant in Tampa on Saturday as the city prepares to host the Super Bowl
The Centers for Disease Control has issued Super Bowl-specific guidelines aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 ahead of next Sunday’s showdown, as pictured above
‘Televisions or any other screens that are used to broadcast programming must be removed from the area or turned off,’ the order from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health says.
The county has just eased the regional stay-at-home order that has been in place for two months.
As it had ahead of recent holidays, the agency warned that ‘attending large gatherings like the Super Bowl increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19’.
‘Gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest way to celebrate the Super Bowl this year,’ the CDC states.
‘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.’
Some fans have mocked the no-cheering ban on social media, joking ‘this seems fun’.
‘At what point do we as human beings start to say 1 mask, 2 mask, 3 mask, Hike. And run the play using our best judgement for our families and friends?’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘Instead prepare for fear, guilt, lectures and a basic loss of that great America.’
‘And they wonder why we think they are full of s**t,’ added another.
The new recommendations received mixed reactions on social media
Yet others questioned why some are thinking about hosting Super Bowl parties given the months of warnings against indoor gatherings.
‘Alt hed: A Year Into the Pandemic, CDC Wastes Its Breatch Cautioning Idiots,’ one wrote.
‘Alt alt hed: Seriously, We Have to Tell You A******s to Not have Super Bowl Parties? sayd the CDC,’ joked another.
Among the other recommendations is to ‘bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, utensils, and condiment packets’, in lieu of the normal Super Bowl Sunday snacks.
‘it is important to remember that potlucks have been put on pause during the pandemic,’ Casey Martinez of Evite told the Tampa Bay Times.
She recommends anything that doesn’t involve sharing a serving spoon, such as pizza or treats in snack-size packages.
‘If you’re making a bigger meal at home, allocate some time before your event to portion out dishes for each guest,’ Martinez said.
‘Takeout is also a great option to consider to continue supporting restaurants in your area.’
Among the recommendations is to avoid cheering or singing, as pictured above
NFL fans convene in downtown Tampa ahead of Super Bowl 55 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida on Saturday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play the Kansas City Chiefs
And for those heading to watch the game at a bar or restuarant, the CDC has warned that they should avoid using restroom facilities during ‘high traffic times’ such as half time or immediately after the final whistle.
‘Minimize the time you spend in the restaurant, bar or concession area. The longer you stay, the more you increase your risk,’ CDC officials state.
Public health professor Jay Wolfson of the University of South Florida told the Times that he hopes people will still use common sense this Sunday, despite the eleven months of coronavirus-restriction fatigue.
‘The Super Bowl venue itself will be well managed by the NFL and Raymond James coordinated forces,’ Wolfson said.
‘But everything outside of the arena will be fair game for the now mutating COVID monster.’
Fans have already begun to descend on Tampa a week ahead of the game, as pictured
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor issued a mask mandate for many of the city’s most popular areas through to February 13 in an attempt to clamp down on the potential COVID-19 spread
It comes as Tampa Mayor Jane Castor issued a mask mandate for many of the city’s most popular areas through to February 13 in an attempt to clamp down on the potential spread as fans arrive.
‘For fans and residents, you know what to do,’ Wolfson said.
‘Wear the darn mask, especially when around folks you don’t live with, socially distance, wash your hands, carry sanitizer and use common sense.’
He added that the key to a ‘responsible’ Super Bowl get-together is to ‘keep the numbers low’ and ‘the venue out of doors as much as possible’.
‘Avoid having people serve themselves, make sure there is plenty of ventilation, keep your restrooms clean and stocked with paper towels and sanitizers, and put in the discipline this year so that your family and friends can better enjoy next year and beyond without the residue of COVID,’ he continued.
‘We need it. We deserve it,’ Wolfson said of the celebrarions. ‘Let’s not make it the last thing we ever do.’
The teams themselves are also taking restriction with the Chiefs, last year’s champions, only flyng into Tampa the day before the game in an attempt to minimize contacts among players and the public.
On Monday, they placed a pair of backups – wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore – on the COVID-19 list as close contacts as they begin final preparations.
Neither of the players actually tested positive for COVID-19, which means Robinson – a regular contributor – and Kilgore could still play in the Super Bowl.
Both would need to return negative tests throughout the week to get off the list.
‘The NFL has done a great job with it, presenting different safety things for the players to stay as safe as possible,’ Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
‘We’ve been hammering this point home forever. The problem is you’re fighting the invisible man. It just gets you when least expected, and we’re seeing that in everything. It’s an unfortunate thing.’
On Monday, both the Cheifs and the Bucanneers also held a virtual media day in order to stay isolated ahead of the game.
The NFL is allowing 22,000 fans to attend the Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium, among them 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who were invited by the league.