Public health officials in Southern California are warning that celebrations for the city’s two new championship sports teams are spreading the coronavirus in several counties.
The Los Angeles Dodgers captured their first World Series title since 1988 on Tuesday night, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays, four games to two. That victory came just weeks after the Los Angeles Lakers won their first NBA championship in a decade.
Fans have generally been unable to attend games, at least locally. And overall viewership is down, partly due to controversy over the sports leagues’ decision to support the Black Lives Matter movement and its protests against the national anthem.
But die-hard fans have been gathering together anyway — with public health consequences. The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday:
Southern California counties are reopening their economies at a slower pace than other parts of the state, and officials blame celebrations. Lakers and Dodgers viewing parties and public events are keeping coronavirus infections high enough to hold the region back, officials warn.
California has avoided the substantial spike in coronavirus cases seen across the country this fall, but some of the state’s most populated counties — Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino — remain in the most restrictive reopening tier.
Public health officials have identified gatherings as a significant source of virus transmission in Southern California, where young adults are driving the spread of the highly contagious disease.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this month, celebrations for the Lakers outside the Staples Center in downtown L.A. turned into a riot in which some participants attacked police vehicles. Little social distancing was observed.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has promised some kind of public celebration for the Lakers and Dodgers, despite the public health risks.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.