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The NFL’s biggest game presents a huge risk of coronavirus transmission if large numbers of residents gather to watch and celebrate the Super Bowl with other households, Los Angeles County health officials warned this week.

Although the county, like California as a whole, is seeing promising declines in coronavirus cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations following a devastating weeks-long surge, that progress remains precarious — and could easily be eroded, they said, if too many Angelenos throw caution to the wind when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs take the field Feb. 7.

“It will be tragic if the Super Bowl becomes a super-spreader of coronavirus,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday.

County health officials have long pointed to gatherings held among households as a primary driver of coronavirus transmission. The risk is heightened in crowded indoor settings; when people aren’t wearing masks; and when they’re chanting, singing or shouting — as doing so can propel the respiratory aerosols and droplets that carry the virus even greater distances.

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