Health expert urges safety for NFC championship gatherings – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – With just a few days to go before the big NFC Championship this weekend, health experts are reminding football fans to be careful as they gather for Sunday’s game, especially indoors.

Millions of people nationwide are expected to watch Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams.

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Although Santa Clara County positive cases are on a downward trend, cases remain at a record high. The county’s 7-day rolling average as of Wednesday stood at 3,699 versus 4,732 exactly where it was last week.

“We are still in the process of ramping up,” said Dr. Anne Liu of Stanford Medical Infectious Diseases. “People have really gathered together a lot over the holidays, so the conditions are now back to being right for that transmission to happen and if people start to get together again indoors.”

Liu said all the measures we’ve been educated on for the past two years – including gathering outdoors and wearing masks – should be followed, if possible, when gathering.

She added that people should also know the latest variant, BA.2, is here in the Bay Area and it’s not clear how contagious it is or if it causes serious illness.

Megan Kawkab, owner and operator of The Patio in Palo Alto, is gearing up for a packed house during Sunday’s game. But she says it’s important to make sure gatherings at her restaurants and bars don’t become too big of a event.

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“That was our biggest fear, that it was going to happen,” says Kawkab. “All of our seats are a bit disjointed. Every table is filled with people, we don’t just let people in, even at the bar. We have people walk in and sit at tables. “

She said the windows would open and the HEPA filter would turn on for people sitting in the indoor seating area. In addition, no more than eight people are allowed to sit at a table for both the indoor and outdoor sections.

“Our customers, a lot of them are our families, and we were very worried about them,” says Kawkab.

She believes football fans can still gather this weekend, both safely and having fun. Dr. Liu agrees.

“Let’s plan, plan together, but let’s do things that can reduce the risk of transmission and then we won’t see a breakdown in cases,” Liu said.

After Omicron’s rise slashed sales at The Patio by 20%, Kawkab said she’s ready to welcome 49ers fans on Sunday to celebrate.

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“Oh, we will win, we will win,” said Kawkab. Health expert urges safety for NFC championship gatherings – CBS San Francisco

Dustin Huang

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