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Marian Regional Medical Center: Doctors urge community not to gather in large groups for Super Bowl

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Jim Ventrigilia is a Tom Brady fan, "I'd like to see the old man win ... Brady," and a football fan, so much that he got his haircut for the Super Bowl, "I like to look my best before the game."

While he’s excited for the big game, doctors at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria are concerned about the Super Bowl becoming a "super spreader" event.

"We have seen a surge after the holiday and increased viral transmission, whether it is Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, there’s always been a surge in increased transmission after these holidays," says Dr. Scott Robertson at Marian Regional Medical Center.

Even though the Super Bowl isn’t a holiday, some treat the weekend as if it is.

"Almost all these parties are indoors. They take place while they're eating and drinking. It’s a very very high risk environment, and so all of us in the medical community are very concerned," says Robertson.

If you’re going to celebrate the Super Bowl with others, doctors hope people will use common sense, and do their part so they won’t see a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

"When you’re attending a Super Bowl party, it’s the type of environment where there may be a lot of cheering, sharing food and all sorts of things that you don’t want to do in the middle of a pandemic," says Robertson.

San Luis Obispo Public Health officials say anyone who does gather this weekend should keep it brief, outside, small, and symptom free.

"I’ll be safe. I’m planning to watch the game with my son, either at home or maybe family," says football fan Clifford Cordero of Santa Maria.

And of course, keep a physical distance, avoid shared food, and wear a mask whenever you leave home.

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Patricia Martellotti

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