A day after hundreds of fans gathered in downtown L.A., celebrating the Los Angeles Dodgers’ World Series win, L.A. Public Health said these fan festivities are contribing to spikes in COVID-19 cases.
The Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night and fans made their way downtown with fireworks, flags and car demonstrations. While masks were visible on some videos posted to social media, there were several videos and photos where fans did not have face coverings during the celebration, as Public Health urged fans to comply with the COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“We are seeing an increase in daily cases coinciding with the reopening of several sectors & gatherings associated with watching sports and celebrating the Lakers & Dodgers victories,” L.A. Public Health said through Twitter, Wednesday. “At these gatherings, people were without distancing or face coverings, transmitting #COVID19.”
The fan celebrations were deemed an unlawful assembly, leading to incidents of vandalism in the downtown area, altercations with LAPD and even a reported shooting.
After the large crowds dispersed, LAPD announced that eight arrests were made and three officers were injured during a downtown L.A. celebrations.
A similar scene occurred in downtown L.A. after the Lakers won the NBA Finals on October 11, as fans paraded down the streets, leading to 76 arrests.
After the Dodger team returned to L.A. Wednesday, the Dodgers organization released a statement saying, “This season was everything we believed it could be. It was just missing one thing: The best fans in baseball. While the wait for a World Championship is finally over, the 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!”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also chimed in on the prospects of having a traditional parade, or celebration saying, “I would love to when the players can and when everyone is healthy.”
Over the past seven days, Los Angeles County has seen some of its highest single-day COVID-19 cases since early July, although Public Health said a majority of those cases were due to a backlog. The county has also seen an increase in its COVID-19 positivity rate from 3% to 3.5% since October 1.