Los Angeles County Nears Record Coronavirus Cases as States Continue to Move to Reopen

Los Angeles County has reported a dramatic uptick in coronavirus cases, with 1,633 new infectees as of Friday. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer believes that the increased deregulation of various safety protocols are likely a factor, but stressed there are methods of approaching it safely.

Ferrer believes that if "sectors open with the proper protocols, it can be done safely," but added that "it does depend a lot on businesses doing their part," via Deadline. "We're watching to make sure that we don't see indicators that will make us want to pause… or institute restrictions." The new confirmed cases, the third-highest one day total since the outbreak of the pandemic, also include 500 delayed cases from one county lab. The latest data brings the county's total to 70,475.

There's also an added concern over lab delays, which have become a regular issue during the pandemic. This means that adding delayed confirmations to the daily outbreak total has been commonplace for the county health department. So, while not all days have delayed numbers, there are enough that make numbers like this significant.

While California has generally had some of the more severe lockdown restrictions in place, just ask Joe Rogan, it has nonetheless had issues enforcing them. One such example happened at the beginning of May, a massive crowd of roughly 3,000 people packed the sidewalks of Huntington Beach to protest beach closures while not wearing face masks. Huntington Beach police Chief Robert Handy told The OC Register that even without a pandemic to consider, a crowd of that size would have been a significant police concern.

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However, there have been some discussions on when the state's professional sports teams could once more resume their seasons — albeit with some safety adjustments. At a press conference on May 18, Gov. Gavin Newsom touched on the return of sports, saying that games could resume in California "without spectators and with modification and very prescriptive conditions" if the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to decrease. That same day, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also said that sports could resume in Texas at the end of May, although that has yet to come to pass.

As of Friday, Johns Hopkins University has reported more than two million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with more than 114,000 deaths. There are currently more than 7.5 million cases reported across the globe.