LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) — Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, saw its COVID-19 cases exceed 300,000 and death toll hit 7,000 on Monday.

“Today, Public Health has confirmed 8 new deaths and 861 new cases of COVID-19,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced in a statement, adding the figures reached the grim milestone of 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 300,614 positive cases of the fatal disease.

According to data released by the department, it took the county about five months to reach 100,000 infections. With the summer surge, it was a little over a month before the number reached 200,000 cases. It was about another two and a half months to 300,000 cases.

But infections are on the rise again, Los Angeles County public health director Barbara Ferrer warned Monday that in the past week, there were averaging about 1,200 new coronavirus cases per day, jumping up from 940 per day at the beginning of this month.

She contributed the uptick partly to the gatherings of sports fans following the Lakers’ recent 17th NBA championship in the franchise history, the restart of college and pro football and the baseball postseason.

“For now, it is simply not safe to celebrate the way we usually do. Being close to others not in our household carries a lot of risk for transmitting COVID-19, so it remains necessary to modify activities to be as safe as possible,” Ferrer said in the statement.

Ferrer also advised Angelenos to refrain from large gatherings with people from different households and urged people to celebrate Halloween safely this year by attending virtual events, holding at-home scavenger hunts or participating in drive-thru displays and activities. Enditem