BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations in Baltimore appear to be trending in the right direction, there are concerns from City leaders about people hosting Super Bowl parties.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott voiced strong concerns about large in-person gatherings for the game and cautioned against it.

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“It is imperative for each of us to continue to do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Scott said during a press conference Friday.


City leaders are warning the Super Bowl could be a superspreader event locally and across the country.

“We know having events like this, we saw it happen New Years, Christmas, Hanukkah, and what happened after that,” Mayor Scott said.

They’re urging people to continue keeping their guard up and limit exposure to the virus.

“I can not stress enough how important it is for you to stay at home on Sunday,” Scott said.

Health officials fear an uptick in transmission could slow or halt the City’s progress toward wider reopenings or refuel the now fading surge.

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“Please avoid large crowds. Please avoid those Super Bowl parties,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said.

Watch parties mean groups of people will be together indoors for hours, eating and drinking without masks.

“But if you must be around people, wear a mask, wear a mask, wear a mask,” Mayor Scott said. “Wash your hands frequently and practice physical distancing.”

It has been two weeks since the latest mandates were enacted in the City, allowing in-person dining to reopen.

Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for bars and restaurants. Riptide in Fells Point is reminding fans they can expect the same quality of service, but with added precautions.

“We’ll have security making sure everything is safe,” Justin Brockmeyer, Owner of Riptide Fells Point, said.

Many bars and restaurants are also expecting a jump in carryout orders and are counting on those sales to help business.

“We’re going to do a lot of food specials,” Brockmeyer said.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.