Los Angeles officials have stated that parties and celebrations following the Los Angeles Lakers' 17th NBA championship are have played a role in recent COVID-19 cases spike around the city. The Los Angeles County Department of Health told USA Today that these activities contributed to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases not only in Los Angeles but the entire country.
The Lakers won the 2020 NBA championship a couple of weeks ago, beating the Miami Heat in six games to earn their 17th NBA trophy. Being one of the most successful franchises in the history of the league, they have one of the largest fanbases as well, so it wouldn't be crazy to think this is true.
“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 highly likely that gatherings to watch and/or celebrate the Lakers, along with any other gatherings that occurred 2-3 weeks ago where people weren’t wearing face coverings and were in close contact with each other, contributed to the rise in LA County cases.’’
To put in perspective how things have changed, Los Angeles County was averaging just under 1,000 new cases a day at the start of this month. Last week, they almost had 1,200 new cases a day. They officially hit more than 300,000 total cases and 7,000 deaths in total on Monday.
This is something to be careful about. This disease is not a game but plenty of people don't seem to understand. It's good that we have sports back and that our favorite teams are competing and some of them are winning, but none of that changes the fact that we still need to be careful for ourselves and those around us.
Authorities fear that with the recent victory of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, the spike will continue.