Ahead of NFL Conference Championship Games, Health Officials Share Coronavirus Safety Reminders

Jan 23, 2021

Pro football's conference championship games will be played Sunday in Green Bay and Kansas City, Missouri, with the COVID-19 pandemic greatly limiting the number of fans in the stadiums.

The Green Bay Packers will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Packers say only about 9,000 people will be allowed into Lambeau Field, about 12% of capacity. Wisconsin Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk says even those fans should not get too close.

"Maintain social distancing as much as possible. I know that is why there will be fewer fans at the game, is to maintain that," Van Dijk said recently during an online briefing with news reporters.

Health officials are also issuing warnings in Kansas City, where the Chiefs will take on the Buffalo Bills.

Medical experts say people should also be careful about getting together in other places to watch Sunday's games.

Health officials in Missouri and Wisconsin have raised concerns about tightly-packed gatherings in bars and other entertainment venues during playoff games last weekend. Packers spokesperson Aaron Popkey says health officials recommend staying home to watch.

"But, if you are choosing to take in the game in another way, we want to make sure you're following the proper guidelines, and making the right decisions to do that and do it safely," Popkey told WUWM on Friday.

The Brown County Tavern League says it's reminding all bar owners and patrons in Green Bay to practice distancing and make sure they have masks on.

Winners of Sunday's games will meet in the Super Bowl February 7 in Florida. Typically, across the U.S., millions of people watch that game in bars or at the home of friends and relatives. But more health warnings are expected this year.