Top warning from health experts this weekend? Stay home for Super Bowl

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- This weekend marks the first major social event since the public distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines began, but medical experts warn the Super Bowl is no reason to let your guard down, even if you are vaccinated.

"It really should just be your personal bubble of family members," said Houston Public Health Authority, Dr. David Persse, on Friday.

According to SETRAC Harris County, COVID-19 hospitalizations are at the same levels on Friday as they were at the end of July. While vaccines offer hope, Dr. Prathit Kulkarni with the Baylor College of Medicine said there is a risk a vaccinated person can still contract and spread the virus.

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Houston officials are working endlessly to ensure Super Bowl Sunday gatherings do not become super-spreader events for COVID-19.

"We still don't know the extent to which the vaccines will prevent folks from getting the asymptomatic form the infection and unknowingly spreading the asymptomatic form of the infection," said Kulkarni, who's an assistant professor of infectious disease.

Both experts advise you to avoid Super Bowl parties, a tradition offering little social distancing, as most people crowd around an indoor TV while eating, drinking and cheering.

"My fear is that while there may be less gatherings, there may be more irresponsible behavior than we saw at Christmas," said Persse.

He asks the public to remain vigilant, wear a mask in public, wash your hands frequently and stay away from crowds.

"Because the virus will take advantage of any opportunity you give it," Persse said.

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