Viewing parties are often a staple of Super Bowl Sunday across the United States, but Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned against participating in large gatherings to enjoy Super Bowl LV.
"You don't want parties with people that you haven't had much contact with," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on NBC's Today show Wednesday (h/t the Associated Press). "You just don't know if they're infected, so, as difficult as that is, at least this time around, just lay low and cool it."
As has been the case with many other annual traditions, fans will have to adapt to the times when it comes to any plans for Sunday's clash between the Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While a COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out across the country, the number of vaccinations hasn't come anywhere close to enough to safely allow for large gatherings—at least events without clear health and safety protocols.
The NFL is allowing up to 22,000 fans to attend Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Of that number, 7,500 will be vaccinated health care workers.
The New York Times' Donald G. McNeil Jr. reported in December a country is believed to achieve herd immunity at 60 to 70 percent of its population. That point is likely still months away in the United States.
Until then, fans would be wise to continue exercising restraint while enjoying their favorite sporting events.