City Officials Speak On Rapid Growing Monkeypox Cases In The Coachella Valley

Carmela Karcher


Yesterday, we shared more information on the City of Palm Springs calling on the CDC and the California Department of Public Health to accelerate the purchase of Monkeypox vaccines, especially for communities seeing a high transmission rate. Today, some are worried about the implications Monkeypox can have on future summer events in the city.

Riverside County Public Health is anticipating more cases in the following weeks since the risk of exposure is still high, not just here in the county, but across the United States.

Local health experts are concerned about upcoming desert summer events.

13 cases of Monkeypox have now been reported in Eastern Riverside County, sounding the alarm for health experts across the region.

Phyllis Ritchie says “I am completely concerned.”

Ritchie is the CEO and Founder of PS Test, a local non-profit that focuses on testing and treating sexually transmitted infections.

She says Monkeypox can spread not only through skin to skin contact, but patients can also have traces of the virus in various body fluids like urine and saliva.

It is also possible the virus can spread through shared items like clothing and close face-to-face contact over a prolonged period of time.

With major events like splash house coming up in two weeks, where items as simple as towels can be shared, Dr. Ritchie is concerned cases will only increase.

Ritchie also states “There is parties every weekend this summer that basically are sex parties. Our pride is coming up and everybody knows with our pride it’s one of the biggest nationally and all around our pride before pride during our pride there’s parties and a lot of sex going on, so we need vaccines. We need to prevent this. Hopefully we can still contain it.”

Many may ask… “What does this mean for these upcoming events?”

Mayor Lisa Middleton says “We are going to be responsible. We are going to be prudent.”

While Monkeypox infection is greater in the Eastern part of the county, Mayor Lisa Middleton says they have not been given any reasons to cancel these events for now.

“As anyone who has been in Palm Springs knows we put a very high priority on public health. I don’t want anyone running off and getting frightened that an event is going to be canceled or that we are going to put people in a place where they are going to be at risk.” says Mayor Lisa Middleton.

Mayor Middleton suggests visiting CDC and DAP Health’s website on how to prevent infection and exposure so people who come into Palm Springs, leaves just as healthy as they came in.

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