When Lakers fans flooded the streets of Los Angeles to celebrate the team’s record 17th NBA Championship, concerns were raised right away about the fact that this is a COVID-19 super spreader.
It turns out that the fears of many observers were justified, as evidenced by the launch of new figures.
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Cases of COVID-19 have increased in the Los Angeles area in recent weeks, and county health officials believe the Lakers are partly to blame.
The Los Angeles County Department of Health told USA Today on Monday that it is “very likely” that the parties and celebrations following the Lakers’ victory in the NBA Finals have contributed to a recent increase in cases. in the county.
Los Angeles County averaged just under 1,000 new cases per day in early October to nearly 1,200 new cases per day last week, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The county officially struck more than 300,000 total cases and 7,000 total deaths on Monday.
Officials concerned about rise in COVID-19
The Lakers closed their NBA Finals series with the Miami Heat on Oct. 11 at Walt Disney World in Florida, which marked their 17th championship.
“It is impossible to determine the exact exposures that contributed to this increase,” the department said in a statement to USA Today.
“However, it is very likely that the rallies to watch and / or celebrate the Lakers, as well as all the other rallies that took place 2-3 weeks ago where people were not wearing face masks and were in close contact with each other, have contributed to increase in LA County cases. ”
And with the Dodgers just one game away from winning the World Series – they lead the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in that series heading into Game 6 on Tuesday night – officials fear the spike could continue.
“As fans continue to watch and celebrate Los Angeles ‘powerful sports teams, we are aware that if individuals do not adhere to health workers’ prescription requirements for distance, infection control and masking, cases will continue to increase, which unfortunately not only leads to increased illness and death, but also slows down our recovery process, ”the department said in a statement to USA Today.
COVID cases are also on the rise nationwide
While the Lakers’ celebrations could be partly to blame for the increase in cases in Los Angeles, the spike is far from unique.
Cases are increasing rapidly across the country.
There were more than 8.7 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States on Monday night, according to the New York Times, and nearly 226,000 deaths are attributed to it.
The country has averaged more than 69,000 new cases a day over the past week, an all-time high, and recorded more than 85,000 on Friday – which is also an all-time high.
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