Header

April 23, 2020

Community Update

by Chris Parman, Communications & Events Manager

Keeping You Informed During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.  It was the warning signal that life afterwards was about to turn upside down; and it did.  That same day, the Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser declared a local health emergency.  On March 7th, the first locally acquired case of COVID was reported in the Coachella Valley described as a patient at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage.  The next day, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency.  On March 9th, the City of Cathedral City created a new COVID-19 webpage,  www.DiscoverCathedralCity.com/covid-19-info dedicated to inform residents about a new virus spreading throughout the world.  (At that time, there were only six reported cases in Riverside County, three of which were in the Coachella Valley.)  On March 11th, California Department of Public Health ordered no gatherings greater than 250 people.  The same day, the City Council postponed its State of the City and canceled Cathedral City LGBT Days.  On March 16th, the City Council of Cathedral City held an Emergency Meeting in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and voted unanimously in support of a resolution declaring a local emergency.

Our resolve for informing the community was to provide the latest information on safety and prevention tips, resources available for residents and local businesses (www.CCEDD.org), and the daily COVID-19 statistics. 

On March 4th, we began by informing the community that the Cathedral City Fire Department, Riverside County Emergency Management and Public Health Departments were collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH,) to manage the 2019-novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) that was starting to impact our nation.  We soon moved to explaining what the virus was and how it was spreading.  Mayor John Aguilar stepped up by creating an introductory video about the Coronavirus and what each of us could do to slow the spread.  Over the next four weeks, the City created twelve videos on COVID-19 informing our community on the emergency declaration by City Manager Charlie McClendon, resources for our business community by Economic Development Director Stone James, and multiple prevention videos by CCTV Host Conrad Angel Corral and Internal Medicine Expert, Dr. Benjamin Milam.  As wearing face masks in public became mandatory, Mayor Aguilar provided a video on how to make a mask with a bandana and two rubber bands.  Councilmember Ernest Gutierrez also provided a COVID-19 prevention video in Spanish

One of our most widely viewed videos was about a call for people in the community to make masks for our local doctors and nurses.  The Coachella Valley Mask Makers were in desperate need for volunteers to make face masks for our local healthcare professionals on the frontlines.  We answered their call, filmed the video and released it in a matter of hours.  More than 10,000 people were reached on Facebook and 9,500 views on YouTube.  The organization was hoping to get 200 volunteers to make 10 masks each day.  They informed us that they had over 800 volunteers answer the call.  Yes, we are in it together!

Our social media numbers since March 4th show that Cathedral City residents are getting the messages and doing the important steps to slow the spread.  On Facebook, the City published 68 news stories related to COVID-19 since March 4th and we reached 144,646 people. That’s an average of over 2,000 people per story.  In addition, we posted 70 news stories on Nextdoor.com (Cathedral City residents only) and achieved a reach of 98,201 or an average of 1,400 households per story.  Finally, our www.DiscoverCathedralCity.com/covid-19-info webpage dedicated solely to Coronavirus information has had over 27,000 visitors since its inception.

Beyond social media, the Communications and Events Department has implemented prevention strategy messages through billboards at the Festival Lawn and Auto Center as well as large banners at our three large neighborhood parks. 

It has been our resolve to provide residents with information about healthcare, food, employment, housing, utilities, and resources for businesses, seniors, and school children.  All important topics that each of us are facing during these unprecedented times.

Watching the COVID statistics increase over the past 40 plus days has been alarming as the number of cases in the Coachella Valley went from the initial 3 cases to now more than 525 cases.  However, that number could have been a lot more severe.  Thanks to everyone who heeded the messages and took preventative steps, we are not facing the numbers that some parts of our nation now faces.

This is no time to let your guard down.   COVID-19 is still spreading nationally.  The United States has the most COVID-19 worldwide.  More than 40,000 Americans have lost their lives to the virus in the past 30 days.  The virus has no cure, and there is no treatment.  Currently, the only way to prevent or slow the virus is through behavior, such as washing your hands, not touching your face, disinfecting touched items, wearing a face mask in public, social distancing between you and others by at least 6 feet, and staying home except for retrieving food, medicine, critical supplies or going to work.  

Not knowing how long this pandemic will last, please stay connected to these city resources and the advice of your medical professional.  There will be times when our movements will be allowed to increase and there will be times that more restrictions will follow.  It is all about saving your life, your neighbor’s life, or a co-worker’s life. 

Kevin Lockwood, the City’s webmaster, and I are proud to provide all of this information to you.  We are in this together!   #StrongerTogether

NEWS

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Get the latest on Coronavirus Disease 2019

---
Interim Police Chief George Crum Accepts Permanent Role

Interim Police Chief George Crum Accepts Permanent Role

 Former police chief leaves retirement to serve Cathedral City again   CATHEDRAL CITY, CA. – City Manager Charlie McClendon announced today that former and current Interim Police Chief George Crum has accepted an offer to return to the city as its permanent police chief.  Police Chief Crum proudly served as Cathedral City’s police chief for three years and had more …
Read more.

---
Mayor Aguilar Interviews Karen Riley about #BeCause Earth Day Art

Mayor Aguilar Interviews Karen Riley about #BeCause Earth Day Art

Watch the following video as Cathedral City Mayor John Aguilar interviews S.C.R.A.P. Gallery Executive Director Karen Riley about this year’s Earth Day student art project called, #BeCause.   You will see some of the winning art projects from students and learn more about this interactive art program that utilizes recycled or reclaimed materials to make art. www.scrapgallery.org.  Every day is Earth …Read more.

---
Riverside County Allowing Everyone to Be Tested for COVID-19

Riverside County Allowing Everyone to Be Tested for COVID-19

Riverside County Public Health is now allowing anyone who believes they might currently have the coronavirus (COVID-19) to be tested with or without symptoms.  This is a change in policy once reserved for only those who were showing symptoms.  The test is not the antibodies test which would show if you have ever had the coronavirus.  Those tests are still …Read more.

---
Mayor John Aguilar Appearing on CBS Local 2 Tonight for a Mayors Forum About COVID-19

Mayor John Aguilar Appearing on CBS Local 2 Tonight for a Mayors Forum About COVID-19

CBS Local 2 is holding a special televised forum tonight with the nine Coachella Valley mayors including Cathedral City Mayor John Aguilar.  Anchor Peter Daut will be asking questions on how each of the cities are handling the pandemic, what issues they are facing, the economic impacts, and how are they planning to gradually reopen.   You can watch the …Read more.

---
Celebrate 50 Years of Earth Day

Celebrate 50 Years of Earth Day

On April 22, 1970, the first official “Earth Day” was held on thousands of U.S. colleges, universities, and K-12 schools bringing together more than 20 million people to raise awareness about pollution and its effects on our environment.  Today, more than one billion people around the world will honor the holiday and determine the best practices moving forward …Read more.

---
Update on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for Self-Employed

Update on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for Self-Employed

The California Employment Development Department has updated its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) webpage providing new information on when the self-employed can begin filing claims.  Please know that these benefits are retroactive, so if you lost income as far back as February 2, 2020, you can file for assistance once up and running.  Filing is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April …Read more.

---
Riverside County Allows Golf Courses to Reopen with Restrictions

Riverside County Allows Golf Courses to Reopen with Restrictions

The Riverside County Public Health Officer announced today that golf can return throughout Riverside County with restrictions, such as no tournaments, no fundraisers, and no gathering of players in numbers more than four people.  Golfers also must wear face coverings at all times and practice social distancing.  The public health director recommends that golf course owners use the Park and …Read more.

---
Travel Restrictions to Canada and Mexico Extended for Another 30 Days

Travel Restrictions to Canada and Mexico Extended for Another 30 Days

Acting Secretary Chad Wolf of U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated the following today: “In close collaboration, the US, Mexico, and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days. As President Trump stated last week, border control, travel restrictions and other limitations remain critical to slowing the spread and allowing …Read more.

---
SBDC Offering Spanish Webinar for Small Businesses / ORIENTACIÓN Y RECURSOS PARA PEQUEÑAS EMPRESAS

SBDC Offering Spanish Webinar for Small Businesses / ORIENTACIÓN Y RECURSOS PARA PEQUEÑAS EMPRESAS

Join us as we discuss financing options and how to protect your business now, the SBA Disaster and Economic Damage Loan (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), your business interruption insurance, employee information and more.   Tuesday, April 21, 1:00 pm.  Acompáñenos mientras discutimos opciones de financiamiento y cómo proteger su …Read more.

---

EVENTS

---
Cathedral City Postpones March and April Special Events

Cathedral City Postpones April Special Events

 Public audience at council meetings limited to no more than 10 people

The Riverside County Public Health Officer has issued a countywide order mandating all venues to have no more than 10 people at any given time, with exceptions of essential personnel, through the end of April.  The City of Cathedral City will suspend all … Read more.

---

For Questions or Comments, Contact Chris Parman, Communications and Events Manager
cparman@cathedralcity.gov