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Fans urged to keep Super Bowl parties from becoming 'super-spreader' events

Some people are scaling back their traditions this year.

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — It is a weekend of firsts.

For the first time, a home team is hosting the Super Bowl, and a woman is officiating it. However, it is also the first Super Bowl to take place in a global pandemic.

The mayors of the battling cities of Kansas City and Tampa Bay have teamed up for a public service announcement urging people to celebrate in small groups. The CDC is advising people to stay home, while Dr. Anthony Fauci has a warning.

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

Mitch Lieberth of Lakewood knows all about big parties, having hosted them for years.

"My parties are normally about 30-40 people," they said.

But not this year.

"I’m putting together goody bags for folks who normally come to my party, and I’ll be delivering the goody bags this weekend, Saturday and Sunday," Lieberth told 3News.

The bags are full of candy, soup mix, and things related to pirates and treasure. Even small gatherings may not be the safest play either, as COVID variants believed to be more infectious threaten to encroach on celebrations.

"It’s a perfect storm to have cases spread," Dr. Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard University, said. "People who may have gotten lucky having a party like this in the fall are going to find that their luck is running out."

Sunday’s game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and the curfew for bars and restaurants in Ohio is now 11 p.m. Patrons should be able to watch the entire game out in public, if they choose, but health experts hope they also choose to follow the rules when it comes to masks and safe social distancing.