Palm Desert city officials Thursday announced that all events involving 250 or more people will be canceled for the remainder of the month due to coronavirus concerns.
All “nonessential” meetings and activities will also be canceled through March 31, given the events do not allow for “social distancing” protocols.
The announcement follows the Thursday recommendation by Gov. Gavin Newsom and state health officials that large gatherings be shut down to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The move comes after health officials on Thursday announced a sixth coronavirus case had been confirmed in Riverside County. Like the other five, it was in the Coachella Valley.
Palm Desert followed similar decisions by Palm Springs and Cathedral City that were announced Thursday, aimed at curtailing all unnecessary large public gatherings in those cities.
Palm Springs officials said Thursday the city’s two public libraries would shutter, along with all adult recreation programs and meetings of all boards and commissions outside the Planning Commission until further notice.
Cathedral City officials on Thursday announced the annual State of the City address set for next week was rescheduled to May 28. Other community events in the city were canceled as well.
Other larger-scale events have been canceled or put on pause in the days since the first confirmed locally acquired coronavirus case was reported in the Coachella Valley over the weekend. Organizers of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells quickly canceled the tennis event, which was set to begin this week.
On Tuesday, organizers of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the Stagecoach country music festival — which annually attract tens of thousands of attendees — were forced to reschedule to October dates due to an order by the county’s top public heath official.