Task Force Update
Last updated 5/7/2020 at 10:37am
Dear Residents of Borrego Springs,
The Task Force would like to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in Borrego Springs and California, and to offer some thoughts on how the next few months are likely to play out.
It has been just over a month since the State order to stay-at-home went into effect. That order and the longer standing recommendations for social distancing and hygiene appear to have reduced the spread of the virus in California compared to states that implemented such orders later or less effectively.
As of April 20, Borrego Springs only had one confirmed case of COVID-19. However, we have had very little testing of residents, so we do not really know how many cases we have in town.
The Federal Government and National Governors’ Association have issued public health prerequisites and guidelines for reopening states and counties safely. Governor Newsom said California will reopen safely but to expect new ways of doing things – a new normal – until our population is vaccinated.
While the stay-at- home order appears to be working, we cannot expect the full population to stay home for almost two years – until a vaccine is proven safe and applied to the full population. So, how can we continue to protect our vulnerable population and ensure we have the medical resources to take care of those who develop serious complications of COVID-19?
We should recognize the necessity but also the hardship of sheltering-in-place that our vulnerable population (with underlying conditions) will continue to endure when the stay-at-home order is lifted and infected people can circulate through our population.
To limit this risk, we will likely be ordered to continue aspects of social distancing & hygiene – no big gatherings, stay 6’ apart from people who are not members of your household, wear face masks when entering businesses and other public facilities, and wash hands and clean surfaces after touching things in public.
And, we could support those who must shelter-in-place by donating to our food banks and the senior center’s meal delivery program, and by volunteering to deliver food and other essentials to the homebound. The Coronavirus Resource Center (www.accesshealthborrego.org/coronavirus) has a Donate page and has a Need Help/Offer Help page where you can volunteer.
Our local businesses are redesigning ways to protect us when we shop and to protect store employees.
While adjusting to this new normal, government should get testing for the virus in place as soon as feasible. We need virus testing to identify and isolate infected individuals and all contacts to quickly stop the spread of infection. Testing should start with our first responders, healthcare workers, store employees, teachers and students.
Then we will need antibody testing to ensure it is safer for people to interact in social and business settings. Last, we will breathe easier when a vaccine has been applied to the full population.
Thank you for your patience and support.
Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force