Coronavirus May Block Fans from LA Sports Events | Athletic Business

Coronavirus May Block Fans from LA Sports Events

Los Angeles County declared a health emergency on Wednesday as cases of the coronavirus in the area reached seven.

Part of that response, according to the Los Angeles Times, may be to ban spectators from attending sporting events in the region. 

While the measure is “extreme” according to county health director Barbara Ferrer, she said that the option is on the table if the outbreak calls for it.

“If at any point we think that there’s good reason for us to be worried about extensive, extensive community transmission … we may ask for modifications at large public events,” Ferrer told the Times. “This could be that games are played but there are no spectators. This could be that there are limits to how many people are going to gather at public events. But I want to reassure everyone we are not there today.”

Brendan Hannan, the vice president of marketing and communications for the LA Galaxy MLS franchise, told the Times that the team’s parent company, AEG, is developing contingency plans for if and when the situation gets worse. AEG also owns the LA Kings and manages the Staples Center and Dignity Health Sports Park.

MLS commissioner Don Garber said that the league is watching the coronavirus situation closely. The league has developed a task force, and is in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as with Canada’s Public Health Agency.

“We’re no different than any other league, any other business that’s catering to the public,” Garber told the Times. “We, like every other citizen in the world, are paying close attention to it.”

According to the Washington Post, there are more than 150 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. On Wednesday, the U.S. death toll from the virus reached 11. 

Meanwhile, in Italy, more than a dozen soccer matches have been postponed due to that country’s outbreak.

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