Local law enforcement and doctors are giving a final warning about taking COVID-19 precautions over the weekend, including wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Local law enforcement and doctors are giving a final warning about taking COVID-19 precautions over the Super Bowl weekend, including wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.

Health officials say they anticipate some people throwing Super Bowl parties despite CDC guidance. Doctor Rachel Irby with Largo Medical Center says the safest thing to do is to spend Super Bowl Sunday only with the people in your household, but if you are planning on having other people over anyway, you should make sure everyone wears a mask.

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Dr. Irby says, “The highest risk activity is sharing a meal, and sharing a meal with people you don’t normally share a meal with.” She knows some people plan on having large parties over the weekend and says if you do plan to celebrate, there’s one way that’s safer than others. “You can’t wear a mask when you share a meal. If you’re going to an outdoor party where people are going to be wearing masks, and there’s not going to be any food, that’s really low risk,” said Dr. Irby.

Tampa Police are also emphasizing safety precautions over the weekend.

Eddy Durkin with the Tampa Police Department says, “You’re definitely going to see police presence everywhere because we want everybody to feel safe.”

When it comes to someone not wearing a mask, Durkin says the department plans to take an educational approach. “We’re hoping that we won’t have to cite anybody. We do have that option but I think everyone who is here to celebrate wants to have a good time. They don’t want a citation in their pockets.”

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Dr. Irby says even if you wear a mask, throwing as Super Bowl party is not a good idea, adding, “If you’re going to have a party with people you don’t normally see that are outside of your circle, it’s going to be risky and there’s not going to be a whole lot you can do to mitigate that risk.”

There is an executive order in effect right now from the City of Tampa that requires people to wear masks both inside and outside in event zones and entertainment districts in Tampa. It will remain in effect through February 13, 2021.

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