Los Angeles County officials on Wednesday asked people who have taken part in recent sports victory celebrations to take measures to avoid possibly spreading the coronavirus.
Officials again warned that recent celebrations have contributed to a spike in cases, and that coronavirus infections in the region remain high, impeding L.A. County’s ability to move into a less restrictive reopening tier.
Since the beginning of October, coronavirus cases have gone from an average of about 940 new cases per day, to almost 1,200 a day, Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, explained. She indicated the increase is a “cause for concern.”
“People were close together without distancing or wearing face coverings, often inside, and unfortunately, at times, they were transmitting COVID-19 to other people,” Ferrer said about revelers.
Residents who gathered to watch or celebrate Lakers and Dodgers wins should stay away from others as much as possible, get tested and monitor themselves for illness.
After their much-anticipated World Series win on Tuesday, their first in 32 years, the Dodgers told fans that any public celebration will have to wait “until it is safe to do so.”
The news about a postponed celebration came after Lakers star LeBron James called on Los Angeles officials to celebrate his team’s victory over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals and the Dodgers’ win against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Man can we PLEASE have a parade!!! I know I know we can’t but DAMN I wanna celebrate with our
@Lakers & @Dodgers fans!!! LA is the city of CHAMPIONS,” James tweeted. Followed by a tweet calling for a “PARADE”
Following James’ tweet, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told the Los Angeles Times that he “definitely” intends to have both teams celebrate in the city at some point.
“The Lakers and the Dodgers now together have turned Tinseltown into Titletown,” the mayor said at a Wednesday news briefing.
He added that after all the players are rested, healthy and have spent time with their families, the city can find a creative way to celebrate their victory.
“What I don’t want to have is to something that’s unsafe,” Garcetti said. “I don’t want us to have people lining the streets where we’re going to see a couple hours of celebration that puts us back weeks and months.”
Dodgers fans took to the streets of Los Angeles to celebrate the win despite concerns over the spread of the virus. LAPD officers called some fans “unruly,” as fires broke out and vandalism was reported.
The mayor urged those who participated to get tested for COVID-19.
L.A. County by the numbers
Officials on Wednesday reported 20 additional COVID-19 deaths and 1,351 new cases, bringing the totals to 7,040 deaths and 303,369 total cases.
As the county moves slowly forward with partial school reopenings, officials on Wednesday said all schools in the county are now able to open their campuses for the following:
- Childcare with a state license or a state waiver
- Teachers and staff conducting distance learning and performing essential operations
- Youth sports that happen outside with conditioning and skill building
- Support and services for individuals or cohorts who are high needs.
Last week, the county increased the percent of high-need students who can return to school for on-site learning from 10% to 25% of the total total student body.
In addition, 1,017 schools in the county have reopened for high-need students.
About 35,000 students and over 20,000 staff have returned for on-site services and support, officials said.
Schools that are transitional kindergarten through second grade can also apply for a waiver to reopen as long as they meet all items on a specific checklist.
So far, the county has received 153 applications and has issued 29 waivers in grades K-2.