Public Health Officials React to The BNP Paribas Postponement

Nico Payne

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The BNP Paribas Open postponed for the second time in as many years, and according to public health officials, it probably won’t be the last.

“When we start getting the vaccine into the general population and we are able to say that we have a good majority of the population vaccinated, that’s probably when you’ll see events like this. at this point we are looking at quite a period of time before that will happen,” said Jose Arballo Jr., Senior Public Information Specialist with Riverside County

The Coachella Valley has seen staple events like The BNP, Coachella, and The Palm Springs International Film Festival, clouded in uncertainty. 

“A lot of planning goes into these things so I’m sure they want some stability and reassurance that events can happen, so I would not be surprised if it happens more and more,” explained Arballo.

Health experts had hoped the vaccine would provide a roadmap to big events making a comeback, but like everything else during the pandemic, those plans have changed.

“We received about 22,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and about 22,300 doses of Moderna. In Tier Two which hopefully we will be moving into next week, we’ll include things like in-home supportive services, our community health workers out in the field, primary care clinics,” said Kim Saruwatari, Director of Public Health with Riverside County.

The U.S. government anticipated 20 million Americans receiving the vaccine by the end of 2020, but according to the CDC, that number currently stands at just over 2 million, days away from the new year.

President-elect Joe Biden says it could take years, not months, to vaccinate everyone.

But some hope still on the horizon, that the vaccine represents the best chance at a return to large gatherings, and even if the timeline is being pushed back, the end is still in sight.

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