CLEVELAND, OHIO — The NFL playoffs begin this weekend and the excitement is contagious – but so is coronavirus.
Medical experts say where, and how, you cheer for your favorite team should look different this year.
“If you’re going to do anything, it’s best to do it with members of your own household, people who you live with, and that’s it,” said Frank Esper, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
Dr. Esper said COVID-19 is still prevalent across the country and recommends avoiding indoor crowds at bars, or house parties.
He adds there’s often a lot of cheering, screaming and yelling during a big game, which can send infectious droplets into the air.
He encourages fans to stay home and have a virtual tailgate, or watch party, instead.
And reminds us COVID-19 can be spread unknowingly by people who don’t have any symptoms, so if you decide to watch the game outside of your ‘bubble’, be sure to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands.
“Remember, these masks and social distancing not only protect you but also protect people from others who might not even know that they’re infected, and there’s a lot of people out there who don’t know that they are infected,” said Dr. Esper.
Dr. Esper warns fans to be extra cautious if they’re throwing back a few cold ones because alcohol makes people less inhibited and more likely to let their guard down on safety measures.