Transparency and keeping our citizens informed are of paramount importance to the Desert Hot Springs City Staff at all times - and especially in times of uncertainty. With that in mind, we are sharing what we have learned over the past several days through our up-to-the minute briefings on the evolution of the coronavirus in the Coachella Valley.
City briefings have included multiple phone calls with Sandra Lyons, Superintendent of Palm Springs Unified School District; Supervisor Perez’s Office; Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health Officer; and even the White House.
Here is what we know right now;
As of today, March 11, Riverside County is reporting the following:
- 7 cases total
- 2 of those involve individuals that were passengers on a cruise ship. Those passengers were quarantined in Northern California. These folks have NOT returned to Riverside County. A total of 5 are travel-related.
- Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the Public Health Officer for Riverside County, said that individuals are quarantined on a case by case basis as determined by the County Health Officer. Contacts of contacts are not being quarantined, however, direct contacts are.
In addition to the State labs, two other commercial labs are now testing, with turn around times of approximately 24 hours. Health Department approval is no longer needed for testing of patients exhibiting symptoms.
The senior community is most at risk of complications from the coronavirus. With that in mind and out of an abundance of caution, the following events/fairs are being postponed:
Senior Inspiration Awards
City of Desert Hot Springs Senior Resource Fair
Mayor's Senior Center State of the City
LEAD Senior Citizen Community Project
In addition, the following precautions are being taken regarding other City events:
- City Hall is operational. However, for the next two weeks, we will be transitioning meetings to conference calls/video calls in an effort to minimize unnecessary contact. We will continue to evaluate this protocol as this situation continues to evolve.
- The public is encouraged to utilize the CityPort, accessible via the City website, as much as possible to minimize contact.
- Citizens are encouraged to call ahead to schedule time to meet/communicate with staff in an effort to minimize a large number of individuals pooling in the small waiting areas of both City Hall locations.
- Hourly sanitation of high-contact areas at all City Hall sites will take place.
- Signage will be posted at City Hall locations indicating that anyone exhibiting signs of illness should not enter the building. They will be provided with contact information so staff can assist them over the phone.
- City employees are being ordered to stay home if they are ill. Employees that come to work sick will be sent home immediately.
- The Mayor has canceled his Tuesday office hours until further notice
- The March 17 City Council Meeting is being adjourned until March 31.
- The March Public Safety Commission Meeting is canceled.
- City EOC is not activated at this time.
- To help control exposure to our police force, residents may be contacted via phone for general reports. This will be determined by our command staff at PD.
This is a fluid, rapidly evolving situation. Staff members are receiving daily updates and will pass along vital and important information to the public as it is received.