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A.M. Brief: No Lakers Fans at Staples Center in Upcoming Season

November 13, 2020 by Brian Champlin
Staples Center. Photo via Prayitno via flickr cc

For the brief today: Lakers games in the 2020-21 season will be fan-less, the Sheriff is steaming about an independent inquest, and lots of people are making plans to travel for the holidays, despite public health officials’ warnings. Finally, a tool to understand the risk of encountering someone with COVID-19. Here is your news. Take it!

Morning News Rundown

The NBA owners and players association are still negotiating a start date for the 2020-21 season, but this much is clear: Per local health guidance, there will be no fans in attendance cheering on the Lakers when games resume at Staples Center. [NBC Los Angeles]

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Yesterday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva lambasted the announcement of the County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s independent inquest into the fatal shooting of Andres Guardado by an LASD deputy. Villanueva called the inquest “a circus stunt.” Earlier this week, the County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to explore options for removing Villanueva from his position. [LAist]

Why are public health officials so frightened by the superspreader possibilities of the holiday season? Well, as a case study, the L.A. Times gives us the story of a single wedding in Maine this past August where 55 people attended. Despite numerous precautions, the web of infection included 176 confirmed infections and seven deaths. None of the people who died from the resulting spread were actually at the wedding. [L.A. Times]

Despite warnings from public health officials nationwide, it appears many people are making plans to travel over the coming weeks. According to data from AAA, up to 50 million Americans may be making plans to travel for Thanksgiving, mostly by car. [CBS News]

A small plane crashed in Pacoima yesterday morning while approaching Whiteman Airport. The pilot was killed and numerous vehicles were set on fire as a result of the crash. There were no passengers on board. [KTLA]

Using data from the COVID Tracking Project, a team at Georgia Tech created a tool that models COVID-19 risk for individuals attending events of various sizes. The risk level is the estimated chance (0-100%) that at least one COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county given the size of the event, which can be adjusted using a slider. For example, the current model estimates that at a Los Angeles event with 10 people, there is a 9% chance of interacting with someone who is infected. [gatech.edu]

Long Beach is rolling out combo testing for the flu and COVID-19 at all city-run testing locations. The test uses a single swab to check for both viruses. Select testing locations will also offer free flu shots. [ABC 7]

Even as Long Beach increases testing and local public health officials (like every other city) ring alarm bells for the winter season, three LB city councilmembers are pushing to request that the state allow limited (25% capacity) indoor dining. [LB Post]

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