We are a lot closer to seeing professional sports return in California. On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that the state could see pro sports return by the first week of June without fans.
Some of the state's larger counties will be allowed to move deeper into Stage 2, Newsom said — the eligibility is effective immediately, but counties can still move at their own pace, and it's dependent on particular criteria. He added that 53 of the state's 58 counties are expected to be eligible, with a focus on hotspots within counties rather than counties as a whole. However, he noted that one of the counties that may need to take longer is L.A. County, along with the San Francisco Bay Area. If current trend lines continue, Newsom said, statewide announcements are expected for in-store retail to be opened up, sporting events without spectators in the first week of June, and other parts of the economy being able to open up — including getting a haircut. The ability to reopen churches is possible within weeks, not months, Newsom said.
This is the most encouraging news we have gotten in terms of sports since the pandemic shutdown all the leagues around the world. When sports resumes, it will be without any fans in attendance according to Newsom. Back in April, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that it is "unlikely" sports with fans in attendance will return this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and get to a vaccine," Newsom said.
While there are multiple vaccines in the works, it's unlikely anyone will be approved any sooner than a year from now. Herd immunity happens when there are so many people immune to a particular infectious disease—in most cases because they previously had it—that it slows or stops the spread.