INDIO — Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser has ordered the cancellation of the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals, citing concerns about the possible health risks because of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread.
The order was issued Tuesday, but does not preclude the events taking place at a later date.
“This decision was not taken lightly or without consideration of many factors,” said Kaiser, who on Sunday declared a public health emergency in the county after the first locally-acquired coronavirus case in Coachella Valley. “No doubt it will impact many people, but my top priority is to protect the health of the entire community.”
Kaiser praised the years-long relationship between the county and Goldenvoice, which operates both the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Festival 2020, and said the decision to cancel the event was made to prevent the spread of the illness that has sickened hundreds of thousands worldwide and killed thousands.
In the wake of the announcement, Indio Mayor Glenn Miller issued the following statement
“On behalf of the City Council, I want to thank our public for the statements of concern we have all been receiving,” said Mayor Glenn Miller.
“The City of Indio is known as the City of Festivals, and the Coachella and Stagecoach events held annually introduce visitors to the Coachella Valley to the natural beauty, amenities and offerings that make this region such a desirable place to call home,” Miller added. “However, the potential health risks of holding a gathering of a large size must be considered, with the safety of our community being top of mind.”
In their efforts to evaluate options for continuing with the concerts, producer Goldenvoice approached the City of Indio about postponing the festivals for a date in the fall of 2020, and a decision was made to reschedule the festivals for October.
As the national and regional and local picture involving COVID-19 becomes clearer, the City will continue to follow the protocols, guidance and recommendations involving public facilities. Currently, City buildings and services all remain open to conduct public business. Additional information will be updated on the City’s website as it becomes available.
In Riverside County, officials have reported six coronavirus cases, including four in the Coachella Valley. The source of one of the cases has not been determined, so it is considered a community spread.
Community spread involves transmission of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It indicates that the virus was not contracted through relevant travel history or contact to a known case of COVID-19, and suggests that the virus is present in the community.
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