After Angelenos came together over the weekend in a massive demonstration and others crowded to celebrate the Lakers’ victory, Los Angeles County health officials on Monday released guidelines to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“If you were in a crowd with non-household members, especially if people weren’t wearing face coverings and were shouting, chanting, and/or singing, you may have been exposed to COVID-19 if an infected person was also there,” L.A. County Department of Public Health officials said. “People can pass the virus to others, even before they know they have it.”

Health officials said those who participated in gatherings must stay away from others — especially the elderly and those with existing health conditions — for a full 14 days.

During that two-week period, people should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms like fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

“Public Health encourages you to get tested if you have been in a crowd or gathering where people were close together and not wearing face coverings and/or not keeping their distance,” the department told residents.

Finding out if a person is positive for the virus through a test can help curb coronavirus spread, especially since some people may not show any symptoms but still pass it on to others who can get seriously ill.

The virus remains widespread in Los Angeles County. A total of 282,982 people have tested positive for the virus and 6,773 have died of COVID-19.

Hundreds of Lakers fans crowded into the streets just outside Staples Center Sunday evening, flouting pandemic-related restrictions to celebrate the team’s first NBA championship in a decade.

Earlier in the day, an estimated 100,000 Armenian Americans and their allies came together for a march to call for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh. But the majority were seen wearing masks and organizers said the face covering requirement were to be enforced.

Shouting, chanting or singing can raise the risk of transmitting the virus, since people spread respiratory droplets farther when raising their voice, health officials said.

“In general, the more people from different households a person interacts with at a gathering, the closer the physical interaction is, and the longer the interaction lasts, the higher the risk that a person with a COVID-19 infection, symptomatic or asymptomatic, may spread it to others,” the California Department of Public Health said in new guidance on gatherings.

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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