COVID-Friendly Game Day Gathering Tips


Submitted by the Whatcom County Health Department

Nothing says “autumn” like changing leaves, pumpkin spice, and fall sports. This time of year, many enjoy game day traditions ranging from tailgating and TV-watching parties to huddling along the sideline of their kids’ soccer match. It’s hard to let go of those celebrated traditions; it feels like one more COVID-19 loss. But it needn’t be.

Football teams are playing to empty stadiums to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We can do our part and still enjoy game day. Try taking the cheering online with a virtual watch party. Put on your team gear and yell at the screen with your friends via video chat. Recap the team’s performance on commercial breaks, or try team trivia during half time. 

If you do decide to gather, here’s how to plan a safe and fun gathering:

  • Let your guests know what to expect—they’ll need to wear a mask and know that you plan to.
  • Keep your gathering small (six or less, e.g. you and five friends) and spread out (six feet between guests).
  • Do a health check, make sure no one has had symptoms over the past two weeks.
  • Have a food plan, it’s safest to skip communal bowls and have each bring their own snacks.
  • Check through this safety checklist—then relax, knowing you’ve done what you can to create a fun gathering, so you can share team spirit without spreading the virus.
  • Masks for the win! We can’t pass up the opportunity to encourage masking up whenever you leave home. Face coverings with team logos are all the rage this season. Showcase your team spirit while showing your community you care about keeping them healthy.
  • Open windows to increase ventilation—bundle up as if you were at the stadium!

This weekend, as the Seattle Seahawks begin NFC West division play, the forecast is for chilly and overcast conditions. Tailgaters may want to warm up with some physical activity, like some jumping jacks or a jog around the neighborhood, or simply sip some hot cider. Once the game starts and you move indoors, wash your hands, put on your mask and find a spot for you and your snacks that allows safe space for others. And get ready to cheer on the ‘Hawks.

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