The CDC Just Said to Avoid Doing This One Thing This Week

The agency's latest advisory says to stay away from these right now.

For many, the annual tradition of watching the Super Bowl is about a lot more than just which team will be crowned the champions of the NFL. The event is also an excuse for a Sunday get-together with friends and family fueled by party snacks and drinks. But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) latest guideline update, you should avoid big parties this week, warning that "attending large gatherings like the Super Bowl [or watch parties] increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19." Read on to see what they recommend you do to keep yourself safe, and for more from the top health agency, check out The CDC Just Made This a Federal Crime, as of Tonight.

Hold a virtual viewing party instead.

Man hanging out with friends on a video call, potentially celebrating the Super Bowl.
Capuski / iStock

"The safest way to watch the Super Bowl this year is at home with people you live with," the CDC says. But just because this year's game may come at a time when gathering with others outside your household is unsafe, that doesn't mean you can't watch all of the action with your closest friends, too. Like many other events over the past year, the CDC suggests hosting a virtual Super Bowl watch party instead. And for more on how to avoid getting sick entirely, check out These 3 Things Could Prevent Almost All COVID Cases, Study Finds.

Follow basic COVID health guidelines.

A group of young people wearing face masks celebrate outdoors with confetti

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, the CDC has advised against congregating indoors, but as the biggest annual viewing tradition, the Super Bowl will likely bring crowds together in front of TVs nationwide, which the CDC realizes. "If you choose to attend the Super Bowl or a large Super Bowl event, like a watch party this year," the agency has certain steps they recommend following, like keeping at least six feet of space between yourself and others who aren't in your household and always wearing a face mask.

Live in a warmer climate? The CDC also recommends attending an outdoor viewing event where there's plenty of space over any indoor gatherings if at all possible. And for more regular COVID updates sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Call ahead to check on precautions.

Shot of a young woman using a smartphone and wearing a mask while travelling in a foreign city

While the safest bet will always be staying home and watching the big game from your own couch, unwittingly venturing out into a bad situation can still be avoided with a little preparation. If you're planning on attending a viewing party at a restaurant or someone else's home, make sure to call ahead and check to see which precautions are being put in place, including capacity limits, availability of spread-out seating areas, and mask policies. And for the masks that won't cut the mustard, check out The CDC Warns Against Using These 6 Face Masks.

Avoid congested areas.

people cheering with beer in bar with illness prevention protection measures are taken

But just because you're following the rules in your seat doesn't mean you won't still be at risk over the course of the game. The agency recommends planning your bathroom and snack trips strategically by "[avoiding] using restroom facilities or concession areas at high traffic times, such as half-time or immediately at the end of the event."

The CDC also says you should minimize the amount of time you linger around concession areas—especially if they are indoors—and use touchless payment options whenever possible to lower your risk of infection. And for more on how to stay safe even when you're not leaving the house, check out Dr. Fauci Says You Need One of These at Home to Avoid COVID.

Keep your voice down.

Woman telling people to be quiet, shush

It may be hard to contain your excitement while watching your team's star wide receiver complete a 35-yard play, but screaming with joy could be putting others at risk of exposure. The agency says to "avoid chanting or cheering," and to "stomp, clap, or bring hand-held noisemakers instead." And for more on what could be out of the question soon, check out These Places Will Close Next, White House Adviser Warns.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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