Super spreader Sunday? Local health experts concerned Super Bowl parties could cause COVID surge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Could your Super Bowl party be a super spreader event?

The Super Bowl has always been about big gatherings and lots of food. But this year, health experts warn against the typical parties to prevent a COVID-19 surge.

Now that Shelby County is finally on the downside of the Christmas and Thanksgiving surges, doctors in the Mid-South are concerned Super Bowl parties could undo the progress we’ve made.

“Usually, we try to have a big party at our houses or our friend’s house up to like 40 people,” Brooke Walker of Memphis said. “But this year, we’re not doing any of that.”

Infectious disease physician Dr. Manoj Jain said it’s crucial people celebrate differently this year.

He said after every holiday since the beginning of the pandemic, Shelby County has seen a major jump in COVID-19 cases. Manoj said gatherings, even if they are small, are part of the problem.

“If we start that up again, especially with events like a Super Bowl party, we will see spotted surges,” he said. “I don’t expect to see the large surge in cases that we have seen before, but it can certainly cause a rapid spread.”

Right now, Shelby County is seeing a decrease in daily cases.

To keep that trend going, Dr. Jain said we can’t let up on safety precautions, especially now that there’s a possible UK mutant strain case here in the Mid-South.

“We know there is one case that has been identified and others are being looked into as well,” he said. “So just would say it’s important that people keep their vigilance and most certainly get vaccinated if you can.”

Meanwhile, some locals are using their creative sides to come up with safe ways to enjoy Sunday’s game with others.

“We actually thought about putting a projector outside and having a party that way if it’s not too cold,” Walker said.