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cool it

Fauci warns against Super Bowl parties, urges Americans to 'lay low'

Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging Americans not to hold Super Bowl parties with those outside their household, expressing concern about a potential COVID-19 spike.

Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and chief medical adviser to President Biden, spoke with Good Morning America on Wednesday and stressed that Americans should "absolutely not" hold traditional Super Bowl parties this year but instead watch the game with members of their household.

"Watch the Super Bowl on TV, enjoy it, have a party in your house with your family, with the people who are there," Fauci said. "...You don't want parties with people that you haven't had much contact with. 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."

The Super Bowl will have an audience of 22,000 fans, including thousands of vaccinated health-care workers, but when asked if it could become a potential superspreader event, Fauci told GMA that since the NFL is "trying to keep people separated enough in the stands, wearing masks," and the crowd will be outdoors, it "could be okay" as long as everyone follows the protocols.

Fauci offered the same warning against big Super Bowl parties on NBC's Today, noting cases have in the past spiked after events where people hold large gatherings despite COVID-19 guidelines.

"Every time we do have something like this, there always is a spike, be it a holiday, Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving," he said.

Fauci added, "As much fun as it is to get together at a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that."