FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- America's biggest sports day comes with a warning this year as health officials worry Super Bowl parties could turn into super spreader events and cause another COVID surge that sets back recent progress.
"We're just starting to come out of our.... you know what happened after Christmas and the holidays with having a lot of gatherings leading to our crisis in the hospitals and ICUs. We don't want to go back there," said Dr. Kenny Banh.
Sunday's highly anticipated matchup between the Chiefs and Buccaneers comes as the nation remains in the thick of the pandemic - and while highly contagious new variants are spreading.
The thought of people mixing together while dipping into shared snacks to watch the big game has experts on edge.
"Shared eating things is high-risk. Other things like shouting, yelling, singing during Super Bowl matches... it's certainly high-risk behavior," said Dr. Banh.
For those who decide to still gather, Fresno police will be out in force as officers look to reduce the number of DUI-related incidents during and after the game
"Due to COVID we are not doing checkpoints this year but you can expect to see more officers out there on patrol enforcing traffic violations looking for suspected DUI drivers, so there's going to be a lot more presence, a lot more uniform presence," said Fresno Police Officer Felipe Uribe.
Stay away from Super Bowl parties this year, experts warn
The thought of people mixing together while dipping into shared snacks to watch the big game has health experts on edge.