Virus Outbreak-Playoff Football

This Jan. 2, 2017, file pool photo, shows an aerial view of the empty Rose Bowl stadium before to the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game between Southern California and Penn State in Pasadena, Calif. No spectators will be allowed at the Rose Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1 because of COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the state, county and city of Pasadena, The Tournament of Roses said Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. 

A new mask mandate in Los Angeles County will require those inside the Rose Bowl for LSU’s season opener against UCLA to wear a facial covering, regardless of their vaccination status, because of rising COVID-19 cases in the area.

Under the order, which was posted Monday by the county's Department of Public Health, everyone attending outdoor events with more than 10,000 people will have to wear a mask “except when actively eating or drinking,” the order states.

“The mask policy will apply to games in the Rose Bowl,” UCLA spokesperson Steve Rourke confirmed in an email.

The order goes into effect Thursday night. The department of health stated "the mask can be removed briefly to eat or drink, and that it must be immediately put back on afterward."

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The order did not affect how many people can attend outdoor events. Currently, the Rose Bowl will have 100% capacity for the game.

Outdoor events were exempt from the mask mandate under the county’s previous rules. But over the last week, L.A. County has reported an average of 3,362 new coronavirus cases per day, according to the LA Times, and 1,754 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday.

The game Sept. 4 will mark LSU's first inside the Rose Bowl, one of the most historic venues in college sports. LSU and UCLA have never played each other in football.

LSU enters the season ranked No. 16, while UCLA is unranked.

Email Wilson Alexander at walexander@theadvocate.com