The fate of this year’s Palm Springs area April trio of events, including Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the White Party and Dinah Shore Weekend is now in the hands of the Riverside County’s public health department as it declares a public health emergency and announces its first case of Covid-19.
Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer says says the agency has made no decisions on large scale public events and festivals and are instead focused on understanding the movements of a new CoronaVirus patient in order to prevent its spread.
The patient, who is being treated at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, was an employee of Murrieta Valley High School. Dozens of students there have been asked to self-quarantine.
Rumors about vendor cancellation for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival have popped up online, sparking questions about whether the festival, set for April 10-19, and Stagecoach, set for April 24-26, would proceed.
Dinah Shore Weekend lesbian event, The Dinah, is currently set to be held from April 1 to April 6 and organizers are pressing on with that event.
Organizers from The White Party, April 24-27, the gay event that attracts thousands of circuit party goers from around the world would not comment.
Dinah Shore Weekend, Coachella, The White Party weekend and the country music component of Coachella, Stagecoach, bring several hundred million dollars to the local economy each year.
Calls to Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival organizers have gone unreturned.
Calls for cancellation have already begun and an online petition has already gained more than 5,500 signatures.
Stella Young, who launched the petition, told Daily Mail that ‘as a highly inclusive community, we are responsible to protect each and every community member, which include the ones who are elderly, fragile, or the ones who suffers from chronic diseases, cancer, immune system diseases and other form of disabilities.’
At least one major event during the period has cancelled.
BNP Paribas Open, the Indian Springs tennis tournament that is considered the kick-off of the professional season, said in a statement that its March 9 to March 22 tournament will not take place:
“The Riverside County Public Health Department has declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley after a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) locally. As a result, the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not take place at this time due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the safety of the participants and attendees at the event. This is following the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California.”
And with the federal government saying containment is no longer possible, prospects for uninterrupted Festivals as usual have dimmed.
On Face The Nation, a former Food and Drug Administration Director today said “We’re past the point of containment.” He added “We have to implement broad mitigation strategies. The next two weeks are really going to change the complexion in this country. We’ll get through this, but it’s going to be a hard period. We’re looking at two months, probably, of difficulty,” Gottlieb said.