By CBSBoston.com Staff

WASHINGTON (CBS) — The Patriots may not be in Super Bowl LV, but New England football fans are sure to be tuning in Sunday to WBZ-TV to watch Tom Brady play in his unprecedented 10th championship game. And while ordinarily that would mean Super Bowl parties, health officials are cautioning people to celebrate responsibly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers For Disease Control is encouraging Americans to “choose a safer way to enjoy the game.”

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“Gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest way to celebrate the Super Bowl this year,” the CDC said in new guidelines. “If you do have a small gathering with people who don’t live with you, outdoors is safer than indoors.”

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The agency suggests hosting a virtual watch party, complete with team colors and snacks (avocado ice cream?), and starting a text group to chat about the game while watching. If you’re picking up food from a restaurant for the game, the CDC encourages touchless payment options.

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If anyone is thinking about braving the cold and holding an outdoor viewing party, the CDC suggests using a projector screen to broadcast the game and for everyone to sit at least 6 feet apart.

At a news conference Monday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also made a plea for fans to be safe.

“I know that Super Bowl Sunday is next weekend but we’re asking everyone to please refrain from getting together with people outside your household,” he said. “I know that there is some excitement in Boston about that Super Bowl, so we want you to be very careful.”

For those who do choose to watch the game with others outside their household, health experts recommend using noisemakers instead of cheering.

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Super Bowl LV is set for Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST on WBZ-TV. Viewers can livestream the game through CBSSports.com as well.

CBSBoston.com Staff