Los Angeles could eventually bar fans from sporting events amid coronavirus spread

Officials in Los Angeles County are reportedly discussing the possibility of barring fans from attending sporting events in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

“If at any point we think that there’s good reason for us to be worried about extensive, extensive community transmission ... we may ask for modifications at large public events,” county health director Barbara Ferrer said, according to The Los Angeles Times.

She said in that “extreme” case, games might be played without spectators, “but I want to reassure everyone we are not there today.”

GET THE LATEST ON CORONAVIRUS

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California Wednesday after a man in Northern California became the first patient in the state to die of the virus.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared an emergency declaration in the county Wednesday as the number of cases in the area increased to seven midweek.

By Wednesday, more than 50 people had the virus in California.

Fans walk by a sanitizing station at Staples Center prior to an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Fans walk by a sanitizing station at Staples Center prior to an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

CALIFORNIA GOV. NEWSOM DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY AFTER FIRST CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DEATH

“We have to be prepared,” Garcetti said. “We have to protect the well-being of our loved ones and our neighbors.”

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Football Club said the team had a conference call this week with local health officials and other sports teams and entertainment venues in the area about a potential “worst-case” scenario.

“And obviously the worst is the city can come in and cancel events,” the team’s vice president of communication, Seth Burton, said. “Another option would be for games to be played with no fans. So there’s all degrees of it. Everyone knows that could happen. But hopefully, we’re not there yet.”

The team has played 38 consecutive sell-out games in their 22,000-seat stadium.

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said there would likely be coordination discussions with other leagues around the world.

“We, like every other citizen in the world, are paying close attention to it,” he said, according to The Times.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Teams in China, Japan, South Korea and Italy have delayed the start of their seasons, games or played in empty stadiums as coronavirus continues to spread through those and other countries.