First coronavirus case reported in Riverside County, casting uncertainty on Coachella 2020
It scared off other major spring events like Ultra Music Festival and SXSW. If there wasn’t concern that Coachella might follow suit before, there certainly is now. While the event’s two-weekend run is still proceeding as planned, TMZ has reported the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Riverside County where the festival is held.
The county’s public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser announced on Sunday, March 8 that Eisenhower Medical Center—25 minutes from the festival site in Indio—is treating a patient considered a “presumptive positive for coronavirus.”
When asked about cancellation plans, Kaiser told the LA Times that “the region has not reported any cases of COVID-19 and there has not been any community spread,” adding that “if we do make an emergency declaration…I do have the ability to shut down such large gatherings.” The LA Times also added that other major events in the state are being adjusted accordingly, including San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, while Stanford University has moved classes online.
While the future of Coachella is uncertain, additional cancellations include Tomorrowland Winter and Damian Lazarus‘ Get Lost Miami. Festival organizers are discussing alternatives, as SXSW wrote in a press release that they are “working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience.” While there is no official word of Coachella’s cancellation and nothing from organizers would currently suggest a cancellation is imminent, event organizers across the world are on high alert, and right now all eyes are on Goldenvoice and southern California.
Featured image: Charles Reagan