Los Angeles County is looking at extended their stay-at-home order for the next three months, according to county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. The decision is not yet final, but Ferrer said on Tuesday it would probably happen “with all certainty,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The “Safer at Home” order was extended through May 15th, which is the end of this week. This comes as the state is starting to figure out which locales are able to ease restrictions on their orders. Governor Gavin Newsom spoke on Tuesday and mentioned Butte County and El Dorado County as states that were making progress to move into Phase 2. However, this county decision in Los Angeles indicates the county has work left to do.
Barring a change of plans, this would put the order into the middle of August. What this does do is all but guarantee that any return of professional sports will be without fans in attendance. This was already expected, but anybody holding out hope for fans in the stands before the end of the summer should recognize those hopes are dashed.
The bigger question for sports at this point is how the order impacts private non-essential businesses conducting their business operations. The NBA (Lakers, Clippers) and NHL (Kings) are looking to restart their seasons, while MLB (Dodgers) is looking to get started in early July. Additionally, NFL training camp is scheduled to start the final week of July. The Rams and Chargers both conduct camp in Orange County, which is following state guidelines.
All four major professional sports leagues are sorting through the situation and figuring out what will work best for them. MLB is presenting a proposal to the players for a potential early July restart. The NBA and NHL have yet to finalize return proposals. The NFL is pushing forward as though everything will be fine, while keeping some contingency plans in their back pockets.
It’s a good bet fans won’t be in the stands for sporting events this summer. It remains to be seen what sports we’ll see this summer.