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California officially suggests postponing or canceling public gatherings

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Even if the NBA season wanted to resume anytime soon, there may be some local obstacles for the Lakers or other California-based teams.

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Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

As the NBA season was being postponed due to two players testing positive for COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus, the California Department of Health simultaneously issued a statement on Wednesday night recommending that any “large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled” through at least the end of March.

“Changing our actions for a short period of time will save the life of one or more people you know,” said California Governor Newsom in a statement. “That’s the choice before us. Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease. Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now. The people in our lives who are most at risk – seniors and those with underlying health conditions — are depending on all of us to make the right choice.”

While this stops short of being a full order, it’s not hard to imagine that it could go from a suggestion to a mandate soon if the current health crisis worsens. While it’s completely unknown right now how long the NBA will suspend its season, legislation may take some of that decision-making out of the league’s hands.

San Francisco has temporarily banned gatherings of over 1,000 people. Santa Clara did the same. And that’s just in California, where four NBA teams (the Lakers, Kings, Clippers and Warriors) play. It may not be long before other cities in the state (and around the country) enact similar restrictions. Seattle and the state of Ohio have already done so.

All of this is to say that whenever the NBA comes back may not be entirely up to the league. And with a new sporting event of note getting cancelled or postponed seemingly every hours, it seems that the threat of coronavirus is beginning to be taken extremely seriously.

Stay safe everyone, and a reminder, the CDC is asking people to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For more information on the coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.

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