Los Angeles braces for Super Bowl amid omicron surge

Los Angeles health officials are taking several precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at this year's Super Bowl, including offering free masks and testing for fans, according to CNN

All attendees will receive KN95 masks to wear inside SoFi Stadium, and officials will remind people to keep masks on when not eating or drinking, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, PhD, said Jan. 25.

The health department will offer vaccinations at the LA Convention Center, where the National Football League is putting on an interactive football theme park for fans in the week leading up to the Feb. 13 Super Bowl. Anyone who receives a first, second or booster dose will gain free entry to the theme park. 

The NFL plans to distribute more than 60,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to fans who visit the convention center for use before the big game. The league will also offer free rapid testing at SoFi Stadium and the LA Convention Center "so that all attendees can test to know their status before they enter events," Dr. Ferrer said.

COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations have fallen in California's Los Angeles County, but still remain high amid the omicron surge, Dr. Ferrer said. The county marked the two-year anniversary of its first confirmed case Jan. 26 and also reported its youngest COVID-19 death of the pandemic: a 15-month-old not yet eligible for vaccination. 

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