As the Dodgers continue the playoffs and the Lakers and Clippers begin a new NBA season, Los Angeles County health officials have again urged fans to exercise caution about COVID-19 while watching games in person or at a local sports bar.
The county’s public health department warned that the rise in COVID cases was seen in October last year due to more frequent gatherings of people watching sports events. Health officials noted that safety has improved this year thanks to the availability of vaccines, but the continued spread of the highly virulent variant of the Delta virus continues to pose a risk of infection in large crowds.
“We know that COVID-19 spreads more easily when people sing and sing close to each other without a mask, as we often do at parties or celebrations,” said District Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “The risk is especially high when these activities are performed indoors. While we are rooting for our teams, let’s continue to work together to avoid the winter surge that forces us to take steps back on the road to recovery. The best way to do this is to get vaccinated if we plan to go to places with an increased risk of transmission of the virus. ”
The county requires participants in major outdoor events such as the Dodger Games to show proof of vaccinations or a recent negative COVID test. Visitors must also wear face masks unless they are actively eating and drinking.
For indoor events such as the Laker and Clipper games, proof of vaccination is required.
Fans planning to watch games in the district’s indoor sports bars must also have at least one dose of the vaccine confirmed. From November 4th, confirmation of complete vaccination will be required. The same rule applies to employees of closed bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries and nightclubs.
According to the latest county figures, 79% of eligible county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 70% are fully vaccinated. Of the 10.3 million population, including those not eligible for vaccinations, 68% have received at least one dose and 60% are fully vaccinated.
The county reported another 31 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, Oct.20, bringing the total death toll during the pandemic to 26,473.
Another 1,267 cases of infection have been confirmed, bringing the total in the county to 1,480,656. The average daily number of people testing positive for the virus was 0.9% as of Wednesday.
County hospitals had 613,635 COVID-infected patients as of Wednesday, up from 635 on Tuesday, according to government data. Of the hospitalized patients, 177 were in the intensive care unit, up from 178 the day before.
On Monday, the county released statistics showing an increased risk of COVID infection among unvaccinated people, saying infection rates among unvaccinated teens are eight times higher than vaccinated teens. For adults over 50, the figure is five times higher for unvaccinated people, according to the agency.
According to DPH, unvaccinated residents aged 12 and over are 12-22 times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than their vaccinated peers, and the mortality rate among residents aged 18 to 49 is 32 times higher.