Los Angeles officials are preparing for thousands of fans to converge on SoFi Stadium in Inglewood for the Super Bowl LVI Feb. 13 by organizing COVID-19 testing sites.
Although the city will not impose capacity restrictions for the mega event, fans will be required to wear masks as well as show proof of vaccination or provide a negative virus test.
“Straightforward public health measures including vaccinations, testing, masking and hand hygiene make it possible for so many to enjoy the Super Bowl Experience,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said in a press release.
Anyone older than 5 will be required to show proof of vaccination or test negative before the event, according to the county health department.
Fans 18 and older will be required to show a photo identification and their vaccination card, a photo of the card, or documents from their health care provider.
Those who are not fully vaccinated will be required to test negative within two days before the event, according to the county health department.
To help with the requirements, the National Football League (NFL) plans to distribute over 60,000 test kits, and the county will set up vaccination sites at the NFL Experience—a football theme park featuring various fan-oriented attractions, including autograph sessions—scheduled for Feb. 5–6 and Feb. 10–12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The NFL will also offer free rapid testing at the stadium and the convention center, according to the league’s website.
All attendees over 2 years old will also be required to wear facial coverings during the game, regardless of their vaccination status, unless they are eating or drinking.
Organizers will provide KN95 masks at the game, but fans can wear a face covering of their choice.
“Attendees can wear the face covering of their preference as long as it fits securely on their face covering their nose and mouth,” the county health department’s media relations told The Epoch Times in an email.
As game time nears, local police were concerned about plans to provide public safety at the event as more officers have tested positive for the virus.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said more than 4,100 officers tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks, and 1,300 employees were in quarantine.
“What we’re following very closely is this impact on our employment numbers as we approach the Super Bowl week of celebration and events here in the downtown Los Angeles area and the region,” Moore told police commissioners Jan. 25.
The police department is looking at contingency plans and monitoring the numbers of those who might be available for the event, Moore said.
In the meantime, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and CalTrans were clearing homeless camps in the city and around the stadium.
“Olvera Street is 95 percent cleaned up,” Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during a Jan. 26 Facebook livestream. Camping was banned in December by the city on historic Olvera Street, located in downtown Los Angeles near City Hall.
“We’ll have the entire thing cleared out prior to Super Bowl,” Villanueva said.
CalTrans was also clearing homeless camps on the freeways around SoFi Stadium, the sheriff said. “So we do have some improvements there.”
CalTrans didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.
SoFi Stadium opened in 2020 at a cost of $5 billion and is home to the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. The seating capacity at the stadium can be expanded to 100,000 for the game.