What To Know About Covid-19 and the 2021 Super Bowl


The Super Bowl is unlike any other American sporting event: A football game provides the anchor for parties, fanfare, and an eye-popping TV broadcast where the commercials and halftime show are just as much of an attraction for the more than 100 million fans who will watch.

But like everything else in the year since the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fla., has been adapted to Covid-19 health guidelines and scaled down, despite the excitement over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers becoming the first N.F.L. team to play in the championship game in its home venue — Raymond James Stadium.

While the football being played on Sunday will look largely the same as in other years, nearly everything else surrounding the Super Bowl will be different.

Super Bowl LV: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m. Eastern, CBS

Players, coaches and members of each team’s staff have been tested for Covid-19 daily throughout the season, including on game days. Since the Buccaneers and the Chiefs qualified for the Super Bowl on Jan. 24, team personnel have been tested for coronavirus twice daily.

Anyone with a confirmed positive test must stay away from their team for a minimum of 10 days. The Buccaneers and the Chiefs have not had a positive test in more than three weeks.

However, two Chiefs players — receiver Demarcus Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore — came in close contact with an infected person and must isolate for at least five days, Chiefs Coach Andy Reid confirmed Monday.

Since the beginning of August, about 15,000 N.F.L. players, coaches and staffers have received nearly 1 million tests, far more than any in other United States-based sports league. More than 700 players, coaches and staff members tested positive during that time.

Because of concerns about exposure to the coronavirus, the Buccaneers and Chiefs have departed from the normal Super Bowl itinerary. In most years, the two opposing teams would arrive in the Super Bowl city one week in advance of the game to conduct practices and scheduled interviews with media. This year, players and coaches will do those interviews via videoconferences, as was the case throughout the 2020 regular season.

To further reduce the team’s chance of infection, the Chiefs are not scheduled to arrive in Tampa until Saturday. The Buccaneers won’t have to drive far.


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