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Festival season will go forward despite coronavirus concerns

PS Coronavirus Presser
News Conference in Palm Springs to address Coronavirus concerns

Officials announced Thursday that there are no plans to cancel any of the upcoming large events like Coachella, Stagecoach and the BNP. Various officials addressed coronavirus concerns and what plans are being put in place to protect visitors. County officials held a news conference at Palm Springs City Hall to address these growing concerns of coronavirus here in the Coachella Valley. 

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s Public Health Officer, spoke alongside Supervisor Manuel Perez and Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors. Other public safety, business, school district and tourism representatives were also in attendance. 

They are addressing the spread of coronavirus and trying to calm public fears here in the valley, especially with festival season right around the corner. The news conference was aimed at updating residents on the “proactive measures being taken to prevent coronavirus in order to stay healthy during the busy Coachella Valley tourist season,'' according to statement from the city.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser said that there were no plans to cancel any major events in the Coachella Valley but that he would support that decision if any organizer felt it was necessary. He stressed that he has the power to shut these events down if needed.

His advice to anyone that may be sick or concerned about their health is that masks won't help you at all, and that steering clear of large gatherings is the best way to avoid spreading disease.

Dr. Kaiser says he expects venues to inform the County about how many people they expect to attend events and from what countries.

Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors assured that the health and well being of visitors is a top priority. The airport has taken proactive measures including deep cleaning and doubling available hand sanitizer.

Supervisor Manual Perez stressed that there are no cases of coronavirus in the Coachella Valley or Riverside County. Perez said that the County is ready and that the risk is low. He said that the successful handling of 195 returning visitors from China to March Air Reserve Base is an excellent example of how the County is ready to respond.

This comes just one day after Dr. Raul Ruiz presided over the house floor in Washington D.C. and voted for $8.3 billion to address the virus nationwide. Ruiz also spoke with Vice President Mike Pence about the public health threat.

The city of Indio, hosts city of the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, released a statement on coronavirus concerns.

"The City of Indio is actively monitoring input from local, state and national health officials to assess the health risks of COVID-19, and update those risks to stakeholders. Currently, zero cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Riverside County.

It is still over five weeks before visitors will make their way to Indio to attend a series of concerts here. Throughout the year round planning process, City officials work with Indio Police, Indio Fire (CAL Fire Riverside County), American Medical Response, event producers and the County of Riverside Emergency Management Department and other partner agencies to coordinate in the event of a public safety incident."

Stay with News Channel 3 for reaction from businesses and the community on this news conference.

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Madison Weil

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Timothy Kiley

Timothy Kiley is Assistant News Director for News Channel 3 starting in 2002 as Photojournalist.


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