County public health director Barbara Ferrer, in a video briefing with reporters, praised fans’ “incredible spirit” but warned that typical behavior — yelling, hugging, being in close company for hours while watching a broadcast — goes against guidelines for preventing and limiting the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
“I think it’s really wonderful that we have both incredible teams with so much talent and also incredible spirit amongst people in L.A. County who root with their hearts and their souls for their teams to do well,” Ferrer said (via the Los Angeles Times). “The downside of this is, during a pandemic, some of the things we’ve done in the past just don’t make sense.”
Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous with more than 10 million residents, reported a seven-day average of 1,560 new coronavirus cases through Monday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post, compared with 857 on Oct. 19. The county has reported nearly 300,000 total confirmed cases and 7,000 deaths caused by covid-19 since March.
California has experienced a 39 percent increase in new daily reported cases over the past week. On the whole, the state has had at least 900,000 cases and more than 17,000 deaths, according to The Post’s coronavirus tracker.
The Lakers won the Finals on Oct. 11. The Dodgers have two chances to win the World Series, on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
“If you’ve eased up over the past few weeks as there are more opportunities for interacting with others, it’s time to go back to being extremely careful,” she said.
The rise in L.A. County numbers had not been immediately apparent because of a backlog of cases stemming from technical issues with data collection systems, Ferrer said.
“We’ve been seeing, first, very low case numbers a couple weeks ago and then in the last few days very high case numbers,” she said. “Now that we’ve processed the backlog of cases from the state and analyzed the numbers by episode date, it is clear that our cases increased. This increase is not as steep as what we saw in July, but this is a cause of concern.”
After the Lakers wrapped up their 17th title while playing in the NBA’s Florida bubble, more than 1,000 fans took to the streets outside Staples Center, the Lakers’ home arena. During their postseason, the Dodgers, playing at a neutral site in Texas, have been holding drive-in events in L.A., telecasting the game on large screens and limiting the number of cars allowed to around 1,000. Social distancing is maintained, there are no concessions or alcohol, and fans must remain in their cars except to use the restroom.
Ferrer cautioned Dodgers fans to “celebrate in ways that don’t actually result in increases in our cases” and closed her news conference by saying, “Go Dodgers.”