This year's Super Bowl is quickly approaching, but the Coronavirus pandemic is still here to make things a bit more complicated.
Health care workers being sent to the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl, which will be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, will be hosting an abnormally small crowd of just 22,000 people, 7,500 of which will be vaccinated health care workers.
Each of the 32 teams in the NFL will be selecting health care workers from their area to attend the Super Bowl.
According to CBS, the health care workers will all be recognized at various moments during the live broadcast in order to thank them for all the work they have done during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We hope that in some small way, this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes as we look forward to a better and healthier year," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement.
In addition to the 7,500 health care workers, the NFL is allowing 14,500 fans to attend Super Bowl 55, after reportedly discussing numerous safety protocols with the CDC, public health officials, the Florida Department of Health, and area hospitals.
The league has not stated if the additional 14,500 fans will also have to be vaccinated in order to attend the game.
Multiple precautions have been put into place in order to keep all attendees safe, including mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, podded seating, and completely touchless experiences at concession stands.
"We are grateful for the leadership the NFL has shown in thanking our health care workers and promoting vaccine acceptance around Super Bowl LV. I applaud them for making safety their top priority, and for taking a thoughtful approach to make sure that the Super Bowl will be a safe and meaningful experience for fans and the Tampa Bay community," said State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees in a statement.
The Super Bowl is scheduled for Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST.