Three city councils in the Coachella Valley are set to meet this week, but amid the coronavirus pandemic, only Palm Desert will be opening its council chamber to allow residents to attend.
Councils in Coachella and Cathedral City are both scheduled to meet telephonically on Wednesday night. Public comments for each must be submitted to the city clerks by phone or email prior to the start of the meeting.
Palm Desert, on the otherhand, will allow residents to attend its Thursday meeting so they can give address the council in person, although council members can choose to attend telephonically, city spokesman David Hermann said. Proper social distancing protocols will be in place, he said, and residents can also submit their public comments off-site as well.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed multiple executive orders recently that temporarily relax state open meetings laws in order to encourage social distancing to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Councils can now meet by telephone without one member being physically present at the noticed meeting location.
All three cities will stream their meetings online.
In Coachella, public comments must be submitted to the city clerk’s office by 6 p.m. Wednesday to firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 760-262-6240.
Cathedral City residents are asked to send their comments by 4 p.m. Wednesday to email@example.com or 760-770-0322.
In Palm Desert, city officials are asking that comments be received by 3 p.m. Thursday, an hour before open session begins. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or phoned in at 760-776-6317.
As of midday Tuesday, there were 48 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Riverside County, with 25 in the Coachella Valley. Six people had also died from complications associated with the disease, all in the Coachella Valley.
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