As viruses spread for the winter season, and the threat of a "twindemic" looming, it's like flashback Friday for Southern California residents seeing holiday events canceled or changed to virtual-only celebrations.
In Los Angeles County, health officials say there has been a dramatic rise in COVID-19 infections, with more than 100 confirmed omicron cases.
The Mayor of Los Angeles held a news conference cautioning residents about holiday travel and gatherings, urging everyone to get vaccinated.
The new omicron variant surpassed delta as the dominant strain in the United States officials announced Monday, saying it now accounts for more than 70% of cases.
This comes a week after a statewide mask mandate was instated in California that is set to expire Jan. 15.
Here Are Canceled or Changed Events
The delayed Rams V. Seahawks game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood Tuesday was proceeding, however, SoFi Stadium posted updated COVID protocols on its site in response to the winter surge. Anyone entering the stadium, 5 years and older, will need proof of vaccination to get in. This comes as many players have been sidelined over COVID.
The free 62nd annual LA County Holiday Celebration in downtown LA announced on Monday that the Christmas Eve event will go on without an audience on Friday.
Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles canceled its invite-only event counting down the New Year to 2022 on New Years Eve, and it will now be a virtual celebration.
All remaining performances of "A Christmas Carol" at the Ahmanson Theatre -- the first time the venue was able to welcome an in-person audience in years -- was canceled due to the surge. The Center Theatre Group announced the cancellation of performances through Dec. 26 last week, and Tuesday announced all performances through Jan. 1 would also be canceled.
"We are aware of the rising COVID-19 infection rates, and are monitoring the situation very closely. As we continue to work with the Pasadena Public Health Department in regards to their health order, we are confident in our ability to host both the parade and game successfully, and in compliance with all the applicable government protocols needed to keep everyone safe. We are prepared to adjust our plans as necessary. The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests, as well as that of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, remains our number one priority," said Pasadena Tournament of Roses spokeswoman said.
The Music Center in downtown LA announced it will require full COVID-19 vaccination and a booster shot starting Jan. 17. This policy applies to all indoor performances at the Ahmanson Theatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
All 23 California State University campuses are requiring students and staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot as well.
UC campuses opted to start the semester remotely, in an announcement Tuesday.
USC considered a temporary remote start for the spring semester as well.
According to the CDC, covid has a range of symptoms, from fever and chills to even vomiting and diarrhea. Omicron's symptoms may resemble something similar to a harsh cold: runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and/or body aches.
Anyone who thinks they may have covid -- even if it seems like a cold -- should get tested, officials said.
Pop-Up Vaccination Clinics
LAX is offering two pop-up vaccination clinics for travelers Dec. 22 and 29.
Both first-time shots and boosters will be available.
The clinics will be located at the Lower/Arrivals Level of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, just past the U.S. Customs and Border Protection exit. They are to be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You can check out free CVS clinics here.
You can also check the https://www.vaccines.gov/ website to find free vaccines.