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‘We have to do something now’ Local resorts remain cautious as Monkeypox cases rise

With more events coming to the desert, some resorts are preparing to stay ahead of any Monkeypox outbreak.

The County told News Channel 3 that 34 of the county's 35 Monkeypox cases are in the Coachella Valley. 

“We have to do something now. There is no options really. If we don’t, we’re gonna... you know, who knows what this could evolve into,” said owner of All Worlds Resort Austin Basford.

With Monkeypox hitting the LGBTQ+ community hard, Basford said he’s doing what he can to stay ahead of it. All Worlds is one of the only gay hotels in the Coachella Valley.

“Of course, we’re wiling to do whatever because if we do it now, or we’re gonna have to do it later in a lot larger numbers.”

Much like the Covid-19 pandemic, Basford said he’s working closely with the county and DAP health to keep the community safe. “They said, well what can you do? They start explaining we have to limit this, limit that. I said, I’m hearing closing down? And they said, would you do that? And I said, done. From here on out, we’re closed until we hear from you.”

All Worlds has canceled its night passes for the time being. “Actually, I’ve turned down one event. And I’m turning down another one right now. And you know, I just figured it’s not the time and I explained to them you know, I’ll give you a good deal next time we start running again but this is just not the time to have the sort of intimate events.”

And in Cathedral City, gay hotel CCBC Resort, is also staying cautious. They're working with the County and have canceled all upcoming events until vaccines are more accessible.

And with big events coming up like Splash House, Palm Desert resident Isaiah Manalili said he’s a bit worried about attending. “I am nervous for Splash House and Monkeypox with all that being so close and there not being enough information going around. Like, everyone is just unprepared right now for what could possibly happen.”

He said he’ll be keeping his distance when he goes to the event. “Possibly just maybe wear a tank top to avoid brushing up with people that might have the lesions on their body, but yeah I would say stay with my friends.”

He hopes that vaccines will be more readily available, so he doesn’t have to worry about it as much.

“There should be a huge push for vaccines and ramping up production for everyone just in general. But especially for us, our type of demographic and our area,” Manalili said.

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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.

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