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Top 10 Super Bowl Safety Tips: COVID-19 Edition

football player

Sunday afternoon marks the 55th Super Bowl; this one, the Kansas City Chiefs versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Traditionally, it’s a day when football fans pack local bars and restaurants or pile into friends’ and families’ homes for Super Bowl parties.

This year, public health officials want people to tone down their celebrations. Alameda County health officials recommend skipping the crowds this year to avoid another spike in COVID-19 cases. Playing it safe helps lowers the odds of another shutdown. It also helps lower the burden on our overtaxed healthcare systems.

That said, after a difficult holiday season, I understand the need for game-day fun. Here are some guidelines for hosting a safe Super Bowl gathering.

  1. Avoid large Super Bowl parties.
  2. Consider hosting a virtual Super Bowl party: friends bring their own chips, wings, and dip. Use the chat feature or video feed for play-by-play commentary.
  3. Limit in-person Super Bowl parties to no more than three households. Ask guests to wear masks and physically distance. Host these parties outdoors as much as possible. If you don’t have outdoor space, open the windows.
  4. If you’re driving to/from a Super Bowl party, keep alcohol intake to a minimum. Stop drinking alcoholic beverages at the end of the third quarter to help ensure you are safe to drive.
  5. If you’re even a little bit buzzed, assign a sober designated driver. Although the atmosphere will be much quieter this year, expect the police to be out in full force. Don’t risk an expensive DUI.
  6. Don’t talk on your phone or text about the game (or anything else) while you’re driving. Get caught and you might end up with a ticket.
  7. Drive with an abundance of caution. There may be more impaired drivers on the road after the game.
  8. As always, wear your seat belt.
  9. If you plan to take public transit, remember to bring a mask. It’s required on BART, AC Transit, and when using Uber and Lyft.
  10. If you’re out walking Sunday evening, stay especially alert. Keep your phone in your pocket. Cross at the crosswalks, and only when the signal says it’s safe to cross. Look both ways before you proceed.

Super Bowl LV will be unlike any other. Opening night festivities will take place virtually. Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay will be “virtually” empty: only 22,000 spectators will be allowed – about a third of the stadium’s capacity. The Weeknd will be giving the halftime performance.

That said, it’s still a great day for football. Whether you watch the game solo or with others, in person or via Zoom party, please follow COVID-19 safety measures. The more we do now to protect our health, the sooner we can get back to some sense of normalcy.

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