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LA County COVID Numbers Triple In Just One Week

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With Los Angeles County's COVID-19 case numbers more than tripling in the span of a week, health experts indicate that restrictions may soon return.

On Sunday, 3,512 COVID-19 cases were reported by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. That marked more than three times the number of cases that were reported just six days prior, on Dec. 13, when there were 1,123.

Sunday's numbers are also the highest since the summer surge of the coronavirus pandemic in August.

Suman Radhakrishna, an infectious disease doctor, warned that while California might not yet be to the point of another lockdown, it isn't out of the realm of possibility.

In response to the drastically spiking numbers, Radhakrishna recommended her own idea for Christmas presents for loved ones - giving them a chance to stay healthy. She said masking up at gatherings, maintaining social distance or spending holidays apart once again might be the best chance Californians have from aiding the looming winter surge. She said all of this things, along with adhering to the vaccination guidelines, "really reduces your risk of infection, risk of spreading the virus. The more each one of us does on our part, the better of society is going to be."

Radhakrishna continued on, noting her own frustrations on the current state of the pandemic,"Everybody I know, including myself, is tired of the masking issue. But we just have to keep it going so that it doesn't overwhelm the system, and we don't go back to what we were doing early on in the pandemic."

Health experts warned that the new statewide mask mandate could be just the beginning, as the entertainment world suffered a huge blow over the weekend at the hands of Coronavirus.

The UCLA, USC and Long Beach State basketball programs all put their seasons on an indefinite pause over the weekend, cancelling a handful of games due to outbreaks amongst players, coaches and staff.

The Los Angeles Rams, who had 29 players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list since December 13, had their Sunday matchup against the Seattle Seahawks postponed until Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a flurry of movement into and out of COVID-19 protocols, including superstars LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. On Sunday, head coach Frank Vogel was placed into COVID-19 protocols, joining six players on the list.

Both the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings, amongst many other NHL teams, had their seasons drastically affected, most notably those teams located outside of the realm of the United States - restricting travel to and from Canada for games.

New guidelines were instituted for nearly every league in professional sports, as they desperately try to keep their heads above water, and avoid a repeat of 2020.

As things continue to trend in this direction, locals are open to changes, indicating that they would gladly take limitations over lockdown.

Los Angeles resident Robert Estrada is ready to roll with the punches, whatever they may be, "I mean everybody just being safe out there. you gotta be safe. So I don't mind them moving it (the mask mandate). It's not gonna go away, its gonna come back. Whatever needs to be done."

For USC Students, that same sentiment applies, as they hope to avoid reverting back to online education. One USC student, Fawad Ahmad, hopes that his family's efforts, along with those of millions of Californians can help prevent such drastic measures being taken. "We're trying to be more careful than we were maybe a few months ago. I hope we don't go back to more restrictions. I think right now, it seems like the right balance," he told CBS reporters.

Along with the world of sports, the Southland has seen a string of cancellations due to COVID-19 cases, and the Omicron variant, of which there are now more than 40 cases in Los Angeles County.

On Sunday evening, Grand Park announced that their in-person New Year's Eve celebration would be canceled, and instead would turn into a broadcast-only event.

One of Los Angeles's most popular holiday shows, "A Christmas Carol," also had more than a week of shows canceled, following a rash of breakthrough cases within the company.

More cancellations are expected as COVID-19 numbers are projected to skyrocket following the Christmas holiday. One factor that can be attributed to this, is the throngs of people flooding Los Angeles malls and shopping centers over the weekend, searching for last-minute presents. Along with these, hundreds of thousands of travelers visited Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend, setting a 2021 record for the largest amount of voyagers since the beginning of 2020.

Health experts around the globe continue to press the public to get vaccinated, and if eligible, receive a booster shot. They disclose that this is the best chance people can take to combat the surge, and stay healthy over the winter season.

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