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CDC Issues COVID Warning About This Sunday

“Please watch the Super Bowl safely, gathering only virtually or with the people you live with.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Rochelle Walensky

The Super Bowl is this Sunday and, as with Thanksgiving or New Year's, the coronavirus doesn't care; it could infect you, or your friend, your mother or a stranger in the snack aisle, and never takes a day off. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke about safety on Super Bowl Sunday during the latest White House COVID-19 Response Team press briefing. Read on to see how to celebrate safely—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

COVID Cases are "Twice as High as the Peak"; Watch the Super Bowl Virtually With Friends

First, the good news: "Monday cases and hospital admissions continued to decrease, and we now appear to be in a consistent downward trajectory for both of these important outcomes," said Dr. Walensky. "COVID-19 cases have declined steadily since hitting a peak on January 8th, dropping 13.4% to an average of nearly 144,000 cases per day from January, 2016 to February. First cases are now back to the level of work before Thanksgiving. Similarly, new hospital admissions have continued to decline since they peaked on January 5th, decreasing 4.1% to an average of approximately 11,400 admissions per day from January 25th to January 31st, while deaths have continued to increase pace appears to be slowing with the average number of deaths increasing 1% to slightly more than 3,100 deaths per day from January 26 to February 1st."

However, she noted: "Although we have seen declines in cases and admissions and a recent slowing of deaths, cases remain extraordinarily high, still twice as high as the peak number of cases over the summer, and the continued proliferation of variants that likely have increased transmissibility that spread more easily threatens to reverse these recent trends based on contact tracing and recent of recent variant pieces—not wearing masks and participating in in-person social gatherings have contributed to the variant spread."

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The Takeaway for You?

"We must take prevention intervention seriously," she says. "Now is not the time to let our guard down, keep taking steps to protect each other. Wear a mask, maintain social distancing, avoid travel crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. And please get vaccinated. And this Sunday, remember whichever team you're reading for and whichever commercial is your favorite, please watch the Super Bowl safely, gathering only virtually or with the people you live with. The CDC recently posted guidance on how to safely enjoy the game."

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The CDC Guidelines for the Super Bowl

Although a bit like your mom telling you how to make new friends, the CDC's "Safer Ways to Enjoy the Super Bowl" are essential if only because they enforce the fact that "gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest way to celebrate the Super Bowl this year. 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.

Host a virtual Super Bowl watch party.

  • Wear clothing or decorate your home with your favorite team's logo or colors.
  • Make appetizers or snacks with the people you live with to enjoy while watching the game and share the recipes with your friends and family.
  • Start a text group with other fans to chat about the game while watching.

Attend an outdoor viewing party where viewers can sit 6 feet apart.

  • Use a projector screen to broadcast the game.
  • Sit at least 6 feet away from people you don't live with."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Stay Safe All Year Long

Follow Dr. Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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