The annual Cathedral City State of the City address scheduled for March 17 was pushed back due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, city officials said Thursday.
The address, which is normally aimed at touting successes by city officials from the past year, is now scheduled for May 28.
“The council wants everyone to know that these steps were not taken lightly, knowing the economic impact it might have on local businesses,” a city statement reads. “The decision, however, was made based on the best public health policies during a time when we are grappling with a new virus that has many unknowns as it continues to spread rapidly throughout the world.”
City leaders also canceled Cathedral City LGBT Days and City Hall at Your Corner, while opting not to cancel Movies in the Park, which will continue this Saturday “with added steps for social distancing,” according to the statement.
The announcement was made during the council meeting on Wednesday, according to city spokesman Chris Parman, the same day a fifth novel coronavirus case was confirmed in Riverside County. Like the other four confirmed cases, the patient is from the Coachella Valley, health officials said.
County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser disclosed few details about the infection, saying only that the virus was “locally acquired” and not the result of overseas travel.
There are now seven county residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — including two residents being treated in Northern California.
The postponement of the State of the City comes as several notable events have been canceled in the days since the first confirmed locally acquired novel coronavirus case was confirmed in the Coachella Valley last weekend, including the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, which was scheduled to begin this week.
On Tuesday, organizers of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the Stagecoach country music festival — which annually attract tens of thousands of attendees to the Coachella Valley — were forced to reschedule to October dates due to an order by the county’s top public heath official.
Palm Springs city officials also canceled the city’s weekly Thursday night street fair along Palm Canyon Drive, citing coronavirus and weather concerns.
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