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Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Many of America's COVID-19 spikes came on the heels of holidays, when friends and families gathered to celebrate. Could Super Bowl LV lead to another spike?

Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Rewind: The 49ers' loss to the Chiefs in last year's Super Bowl may have prevented the spread of the virus, per WSJ (subscription).

  • Celebrations would have been held if they'd won, and COVID-19 was already spreading in the Bay Area at the time. It didn't reach Kansas City until March.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. restricts air travel from 8 countries over Omicron concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

"SNL" cold open tackles the Super Bowl

Photo: Will Heath/NBC

The latest "Saturday Night Live" cold open steered clear of D.C. politics to parody the Super Bowl, ahead of Sunday's game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs — with Aidy Bryant playing both coaches.

The big picture: The "SNL" regular as Chiefs coach Andy Reid revealed their strategy was to "pass it, and then we're gonna run it and when they have the ball, we're gonna stop it." Then as Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, Bryant revealed a strikingly similar game plan. The show also skewered firms that take political stands in Super Bowl commercials.

Go deeper: Super Bowl advertising is going to look a lot different this year

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details from the sketch.

Updated Feb 8, 2021 - Sports

In photos: Scenes from first Super Bowl with socially distanced fans

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady celebrates with the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first Super Bowl with coronavirus precautions in place ended in victory for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida Sunday night.

The big picture: The game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa took place with more cardboard cutouts (30,000) than fans (25,000). The NFL provided those present with personal protective equipment including masks and hand sanitizer before the game.