FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's top health official urged Kentuckians to resist hosting large Super Bowl parties as new cases of COVID-19 continued to decline in the state.

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said with the success of the vaccine “we're hopefully getting to the light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic" but urged Kentuckians not to gather in great numbers for the annual NFL championship game.

“When people get together in private residences in close proximity, that is one of the single most effective ways to spread this disease," Stack said during a daily briefing Wednesday. "We can’t afford to have the disease spread now.”

Football fans should stick to the guidelines used over the holidays by limiting gatherings to eight people or fewer along with social distancing and masking, Stack said.

Kentucky reported 2,592 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, along with 51 deaths. Seven of the deaths were people 60 years old or younger, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.

The state's positivity rate according to state officials was 8.53%, the sixth day in a row that the rate in Kentucky was below 9%.