Businesses Excited for Festivals, County Public Health Suggests More Testing

Carmela Karcher

“We are thrilled because keep in mind, those festivals are the highest economic impact generators for the entire destination,” Palm Springs Hilton Vice President Aftab Dada explained.

Not only are music-lovers excited for Coachella and Stagecoach, but so are desert business owners.

“All three weeks are completely sold out,” Dada shared.

The pandemic shut-down Coachella and Stagecoach two years in a row.

But this year, the festivals are back.

Tens of thousands of people from all over the world will be coming to the Coachella Valley.

It means money for the local economy, but could it also mean more COVID-19 infections?

“Last week, we were given the numbers and the numbers are declining significantly,” Dada explained. “Knowing that Goldenvoice, the promoter, is not taking any strict pandemic requirements and knowing that Palm Springs had very strict guidelines throughout the pandemic period and they lifted all of the restrictions, we feel very comfortable and we are in constant touch with Riverside County.”

For locals, Dr. Jennifer Chevinsky with Riverside County Public Health says remember the basics.

If you’re worried about getting sick, take the necessary precautions.

“What we know with festivals like Coachella, these big events, they do attract the interest of not only Riverside County but throughout California, the United States and internationally,” Dr. Chevinsky said. “We do know there is elevated risk in those kinds of circumstances. It might be an opportunity to continue wearing your mask indoors and that you’re using those lessons that we had from before and applying them again. So, definitely if you don’t have your booster, go out and get it.”

Aside from what we have been doing over the past two years to protect ourselves, Dr. Chevinsky also suggests testing more often in the coming weeks especially with more people coming into the desert.

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