James acknowledged on social media that the kind of dual celebration he envisioned was not feasible during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Still, he made his plea.
“Man can we PLEASE have a parade!!! I know I know we can’t but DAMN I wanna celebrate with our @Lakers & @Dodgers fans!!!” he tweeted, along with emoji of two trophies. “LA is the city of CHAMPIONS”
In another tweet, he added, “PARADE PARADE PARADE!!! *Safely with [masks]”
The dangers of celebrating during a pandemic were on clear display Tuesday night, when the Dodgers took third baseman Justin Turner out of the game because they learned that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. There was a controversial celebration after the game when Turner, reportedly despite efforts to stop him, returned to the field and pulled down his mask as he posed with teammates and the Series trophy.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said late Tuesday he hoped there would be some sort of celebration at some point. “I definitely intend to have the opportunity for Angelenos to celebrate the Lakers and, on their own day, the Dodgers,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
One possibility Garcetti suggested was a hilltop party at Griffith Park, but he added that he is open to other ideas. “Stick them up at the observatory,” he said, “and watch them preside over the town as champions.”
But the Dodgers said Wednesday that the party is on hold.
“This season was everything we believed it could be. It was just missing one thing: The best fans in baseball,” the team said in a statement. “While the wait for a world championship is finally over, a celebration worthy of our great fans and the city of Los Angeles will unfortunately have to wait until it is safe to do so. We can’t wait to celebrate together!”
That echoes a statement by the Lakers earlier this month.
“We cannot wait to celebrate our NBA title with our fans,” the team said. “After consulting with the city and the county, we all agree that a joyful and inclusive public celebration will take place as soon as it is safe to do so."
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday evening noted in a statement to The Washington Post that “protocols state that a person who tests positive for COVID-19, even if they do not display symptoms, must isolate for 10 days and must be symptom and fever free for 24 hours before they can resume contact with any other people. Additionally, anyone who has been a close contact of a person who has tested positive for the virus for 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period must quarantine for 14 days.”
It urged fans to celebrate responsibly, saying that it “joins our community in congratulating the Dodgers for winning the World Series," but added, “Gathering inside or with large crowds at restaurants and on streets is not permitted and, frankly, dangerous during a pandemic.”
Impromptu fan celebrations outside Staples Center and watch parties were cited by department Monday as a possible source of a recent uptick in coronavirus cases.
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 1,549 new coronavirus cases through Tuesday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post, compared with 880 on Oct. 20. The county has reported nearly 300,000 total confirmed cases and 7,000 deaths caused by covid-19 since March.
“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.