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Some Palm Springs bars close voluntarily as coronavirus worry spreads


“I feel like it was inevitable," said Nico Muenoz, from Indio.

Some bar owners in downtown Palm Springs are shutting down once again in response to coronavirus concerns. 

“You have to care enough about your employees and the community that you function within," said Claudia Murphy, co-owner of Tonga Hut. "You have to care enough about them to do what’s right decision even if its difficult business wise.”

Claudia Murphy , the owner of Tonga Hut has not reopened since closing in mid-March. 

“We decided to be patient because there is really no way to know what that impact would be and we felt like we wanted to see if that would be the appreciate decision," said Murphy.

Hunters Nightclub and Street Bar on Arenas Road announced closures Saturday after employees at both businesses tested positive for coronavirus. 

Toucans Tiki Lounge also closed Saturday. 

“We just think its in our best interest to keep our staff safe and healthy and also customers and that they are not congregating there, as much as can do to keep people safe its not guaranteed," said Steen Bojsen-Moller, Managing Partner of Toucans Tiki Lounge.

Chill Bar also closed as a precautionary move. 

The manager at Quadz Bar wouldn't comment. 

Some of the bar owners were taking action even before Governor Newsom's tweet Sunday recommending bar closures in several counties including Riverside while ordering bars to close in other counties. 

“I feel like it was bound to happen," said Muenoz."I am really not surprised something we all knew was coming."

We reached out to Riverside County public health officials for comment and a spokesperson sent a statement which reads in part quote: "

At this time, the governor has recommended that bars close in Riverside County as a measure to slow the spread of the disease. We are working closely with the state to determine next steps regarding bars, including any potential impacts to restaurants that also have bars. As soon as more information is available, we will share with the community and the media.

Riverside County continues to see increased cases of coronavirus, and these cases have resulted in increased hospitalizations. All community members are urged to wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance from others and wash their hands frequently as these steps are known to slow and prevent the spread of the disease. All businesses that have reopened in Riverside County should follow the state and local reopening guidance available online at

“There are certain things we don’t have control over," said Murphy. "We have to do what we can and we can is to close down then we do so.”  

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Dani Romero


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