Riverside county health officials sought to calm the public's fears over the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, saying that plans for the upcoming music festivals, including Coachella and Stagecoach are still moving forward.
According the county's chief health officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, no incidents of community transmission of the virus has been detected in Southern California.
“That means we do not have any community acquired cases in the Southland currently,” Kaiser said. However he noted that at least 51 recent travelers who recently returned to Riverside County are currently being monitored by health officials.
While county officials would not rule out an emergency declaration like the ones made by Los Angeles and Orange Counties, they have not moved forward with one yet.
“If we do make an emergency declaration based on changes in local conditions, as a public health officer I do have the ability to shut down such large gatherings. We would do so with as much lead time as possible,” Kaiser said.
The Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals are both set for next month in Indio, located in Riverside county. At least 100,000 people attended both weekends of the Coachella festival every day.
Other music festivals around the country, including the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, have been postponed indefinitely amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
On Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in the state following the first reported coronavirus-related death. California is the third state to have declared an emergency in response to the disease.
Photo: Getty Images