Health officials hope Super Bowl doesn't turn into superspreader event

Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 23:15:15-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In the CDC's ideal world, everyone would watch the Super Bowl at home, with only the members of their household. But the agency is realistic, releasing a set of guidelines for those like Mario Gonzalez from Texas who plan to have or attend a big watch party.

"We're going to celebrate," said Gonzalez. "We're going to have a lot of friends. A lot of eating, a lot of cooking out and a lot of drinking."

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If you're attending a watch party of some kind, the CDC recommends calling the venue ahead of time to check on safety measures, use touchless payment methods when possible and avoid chanting or cheering.

The agency suggests using noisemakers instead, something Gonzalez laughed at.

"Most of us are going to be drinking so I think a lot of that is going to go out the window," said Gonzalez.

Yolanda Zapata and her husband Jose are in town from Chicago for the weather and the Super Bowl. They say the measures in place at Las Vegas casinos have put their minds at ease.

"There are arrows and there are directions," said Zapata. "They're setting expectations, which I didn't expect to have so we appreciate what they're doing."

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Under Gov. Steve Sisolak's statewide pause, bars, restaurants and casinos must still operate at 25% capacity and public gatherings are capped at 50 people or 25% capacity, whichever is less.

Two of the biggest sportsbooks in town -- Circa Stadium and Westgate Superbook -- are both hosting multiple 50-people watch parties on site. Most are sold out.

And while Nevada's major COVID-19 markers have been steadily dropping in recent weeks, Dr. Cortland Lohff with the Southern Nevada Health District says this is not the time to get complacent.

"Once we get a certain percent of the population vaccinated, then I think we can begin relaxing our measures and things like that," said Dr. Lohff.

"But until that happens, we still need to be vigilant about these recommendations," he added.

Las Vegas area resident Coree Woltering said with those numbers heading in the right direction, he'll spend his Super Bowl Sunday going on a long run and at home.

"Right now, we seem to be doing a little bit better after the holidays so we'd love to see that trend continue," said Woltering.