If you’re getting ready to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday, be sure to follow simple tips to reduce your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19.
While we seem to be on the downturn of cases from the recent peak of post-holiday COVID-19 infections, that doesn’t mean you should let up on your COVID guard. Vaccines are still being administered as supply allows, and new virus variants are emerging.
So, if you’re getting ready to enjoy this weekend’s Super Bowl contest between the Chiefs and the Buccaneers, be sure to do so safely. And for now, that means celebrating the football fest at home, with people youlive with, advises the Centers for Disease Control. If you travel or gather with those who do not live with you on a regular basis, you’re increasing your chances of being exposed to COVID-19 – and this time of year, the flu as well.
Though people are slowly being vaccinated, the virus is still rampant in our community. As of Wednesday, 13 new deaths were reported in Santa Barbara County, bringing the countywide total to 316 lives lost to COVID-19. The total number of confirmed cases is 29,1919, with almost 200 new cases on Wednesday. There are still an estimated 1,231 infected people in the county.
And while our county has suffered, others have much higher rates of infection. So, as it has for many months, the CDC warns that travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19, especially if you have exposure to public transit, airports, or hotels. Though the lure of going somewhere for the Super Bowl may be great, the CDC continues to recommend postponing travel and staying home to protect yourself and others. Much more information is available about travel risks at this site: CDC COVID-19 Travel Guide.
Before you move ahead with having a gathering, you may want to check the most updated infection rates at sbcphd.org.
Here are some important tips to consider before Sunday:
- If you’re the host of a gathering, talk to your guests early and set expectations, such as enforced social distancing and mask use.
- Hold a smaller gathering than you may normally host. Have people stay 6 feet or more apart.
- Clean and disinfect frequently. Have a box or package of unused masks available.
- Encourage everyone to wash their hands often. Have hand sanitizer readily available.
- Immediately cancel your Super Bowl gathering if you or someone who lives with you becomes sick or is exposed to someone who thinks they have, or has, COVID-19
Some Safe Ways to Enjoy the Super Bowl
If there’s no way around having a gathering Sunday with friends or family who don’t live in the same residence, consider having your Super Bowl event outside. Sunday’s temperature is forecast to be in the mid-60s. If you use this method, sit at least six feet away from people you don’t live with, and consider using a projector screen to broadcast the game.
Or if that doesn’t work, how about hosting a virtual Super Bowl watch party? Many people arenowused to Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. The CDC also suggests thisif you celebrate via technology:
Wear team clothing or decorate in team colors or logos.
Make healthy appetizers or snacks with those in your home while watching the game. Share recipes with your friends and family at other residences.
Start a group text with your friends while watching the game.
Consider having a friendly “rank the commercial” contest, or other interactive, yet distance appropriate, games.
Make it Super Safe
If you’re going to be around other people, protect yourself and them by wearing a mask.
- Wear a mask with two or more layers
- Wear the mask snugly over your mouth and nose.
- Consider using a surgical/medical mask closest to your mouth, and try a cloth mask in your team colors over it
- Change out your mask frequently, especially if it gets wet or dirty
- Try to avoid shouting or cheering loudly, to avoid the spread of germs. Make homemade, or use store-bought, noisemakers.
- Most importantly, if you are sick, or have any symptoms of COVID-19or other illnesses, stay home and remain isolated from others.
Eating and Drinking
While the CDC indicates there is no evidence that handling or eating food spreads the virus, you should still adhere to safe food practices, especially in group settings.
During the pandemic, the CDC suggestsyou may want to:
- Ask guests to bring their own food, drinks, and utensils to your home. Do the same if you go elsewhere.
- In food preparation areas, limit the number of people hanging out
- Use single-use options, such as condiments or salad dressing
- If you have no-touch garbage cans, use them
Keep the Air moving
If you do end up in a house with other people, consider opening windows and doors to allow a free flow of air. The increased ventilation can help prevent COVID particles from accumulating in the air at your home if someone is infected.
Even though you shouldn’t be high-fiving anyone, you may still need to wash your hands often with soap and water.If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
So even though this year looks very different at Super Bowl time, you can still have fun and stay safe.