Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday warned football fans against attending parties to watch Super Bowl LV this weekend.
The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert cautioned that get-togethers between people from different households could lead to yet another surge in COVID-19 cases.
“Every time we have something like this, there always is a spike, be it a holiday, Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving,” Fauci told “Today” host Savannah Guthrie ahead of Sunday’s big game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household,” urged Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical officer for President Joe Biden’s administration.
“As much fun as it is to get together in a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that,” Fauci added.
Fauci, 80, issued a similar message about curbing the spread of the coronavirus before the holidays, when he revealed he would not be seeing his three adult children over the festive period.
It’s “just one of the things you’re going to have to accept as we go through this unprecedented challenging time,” he said at the time.
Some 22,000 fans — including 7,500 health care workers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 — will attend Sunday’s game at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. All spectators will be required to wear masks, Reuters reported.
Players and staff on each team have been subjected to twice-daily COVID-19 tests.
Chiefs receiver Demarcus Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore are isolated from other team members after receiving haircuts from a barber who tested positive. They wore masks during their exposure and have tested negative since. They may yet play Sunday if they test negative for five days in a row, ESPN reported.
COVID-19 has now killed more than 446,000 Americans. Worldwide, the pandemic has claimed the lives of 2.25 million.
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