Staying Safe on Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday typically means parties with food, fun and a lot of friends and family. But like other holidays and special events over the past year, public health officials advise you stay home and within your COVID “bubble,” practicing safe behaviors. Even though data from the WisconsinDepartment of Health Services reports COVID-19 cases on the decline, physicians say don’t be tempted to attend large or small gatherings this weekend.

“If you’re in an environment where you don’t know the people attending the party, and you’re yelling and screaming at the TV during the game, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of catching COVID, especially if someone has mild symptoms or has asymptomatic COVID,” says Mark Cockley, MD, Chief Clinical Officer at ThedaCare, a Be Safe Wisconsin partner. “I would suggest staying at home and enjoying the game with immediate family members.”

Physicians also say don’t get complacent with taking precautions while at a gathering, or while out and about preparing for one.

  • Wash your hands.
  • Wear your mask.
  • Watch your distance.

“We have to stay vigilant,” says Bonnie Kolbe, RN, BSN, CHPN, health division manager and health officer at Calumet County Health Division, a Be Safe Wisconsin partner. “Even though it might seem like an end is in sight with more people getting vaccinated, there is still a need to take the proper precautions to prevent a re-emergence of COVID cases, which usually comes after people attend large gatherings, especially with people outside their household or ‘bubble.’”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends safer ways to enjoy the Super Bowl.

  • Host a football watch party. Gathering virtually. Share recipes with your friends and family from your mobile device.
  • Start a group text. Connect with other fans to chat about the game while watching.
  • Go outside. Take the party outdoors where viewers can sit 6 feet apart, especially if you’re with people outside your household. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wear a mask. Show your team spirit, pandemic style, and slip on a face covering with your favorite team’s logo or colors.

Although the CDC notes, “There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is spread by handling or eating food,” it offers these Game Day Food Safety Tips.

Dr. Cockley alerts game day partygoers, “If you are around people you don’t know or haven’t been around in a while, you will need to monitor your health for the next 14 days. Be aware of any symptoms you might develop. Be sure not to transmit COVID in the community to co-workers or someone in the grocery store.”

Public health officials advise Wisconsinites to be responsible and “follow good protocols to protect others in the area.” Go to our partner websites for the latest information on staying safe during the winter months.

When the Super Bowl game comes to an end, walk away feeling like a champion, knowing you did all you could to play it safe this football season.