Super Bowl LVI kicks off in a few weeks from Los Angeles at the brand new SoFi stadium in Inglewood. The league’s newest “super-stadium,” SoFi visitors will certainly enjoy the open air roof, futuristic design, and high-end food options. Unless you’re in-between bites that delicious food, however, you’ll have to wear a mask.
Much of the country has grown accustomed to a world in which COVID simply exists, but some cities still demand masks and other preventative measures in order to slow the spread. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced on Tuesday that the Super Bowl will be business as usual for the city in terms of masking protocols. The stadium will even distribute free masks to attendees at the gate.
The city also plans to distribute free tests at events running up to the Big Game, as well as provide vaccination sites around the convention center in case fans want a little jab with their football.
Fans attending the game will also be required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test to enter. Anyone caught flaunting the mask rules could receive a $250 fine.
“Our partnership with the NFL allows people to come together safely and experience the very best of American football,” Ferrer said.
“Straightforward public health measures like masking make it possible for so many to enjoy the Super Bowl Experience. That includes vaccinations, testing, and hand hygiene [as well].
“We thank the NFL and all the fans for taking care of each other throughout the football season. And we look forward to welcoming everyone to an extraordinary Super Bowl in beautiful Los Angeles.”
LA’s masking rules holding firm despite drops in case rates
According to health officials, LA County COVID-19 metrics are showing decline: daily cases, daily case rate, positivity rate and hospitalizations are all down.
“This downward trend is encouraging and signals that we are likely to pass the peak of Omicron transmission. We are beginning to see a real decline in the number of newly infected individuals,” Ferrer added.
“I think we need to have a tailored approach,” she said. “We need to stay very focused on increasing vaccination coverage for first, second and third doses. And then work to make sure people know how to layer in those protections.”
Dr. Nancy Gin, a regional medical director, echoed those same directives as they related to the Omicron variant.
‘In the last few days, we have seen that across the country — and in Southern California, we’re experiencing the same — there appears to have been a cresting of COVID activities in the hospital,” Gin said.
“And we seem to be just at that crest and starting to go on the downward side.”
A study published by the CDC found that despite the rapid spread of Omicron, deaths were actually down four percent when compared to the height of the Delta-fueled outbreak.