With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak continuing to grow, several Lompoc-area organizations have announced that they will either postpone or cancel upcoming events and programs.
The city of Lompoc also revealed Friday that it had teamed with Lompoc Valley Medical Center, Lompoc Unified School District, the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce and Hancock College to inform the community and collectively try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Those organizations will lead a joint presentation at the start of the Lompoc City Council meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, at City Hall.
“We know our Lompoc community is concerned about the coronavirus, so the city of Lompoc is working with our partner agencies to ensure we keep our residents and visitors as safe and informed as possible,” Mayor Jenelle Osborne said.
That announcement came after a whirlwind two days in which almost all of the large gatherings planned over the next several weeks were either canceled or postponed.
Among the Lompoc-area events that have been affected by the outbreak:
- LUSD announced that all classes will be canceled from March 18 through at least April 3. School sites will remain open as resources for students and families, the district reported.
- The Lompoc Valley Festival Association canceled the 2020 SpringFest celebration, which was scheduled for April 17 through 19.
- The Lompoc Pops Orchestra postponed its concert that had been scheduled for March 30. A Pops spokesperson said the organization intends to reschedule the concert at a later date.
- The Lompoc Music Association called off its March 29 concert that was to feature pianist Bridget Hough. A spokesperson for the Lompoc Music Association said organizers hope to reschedule the event.
- The Cabrillo High School Aquarium has canceled its March 18 open house, at which aquarium leaders were slated to unveil the facility's new Interactive Tide Pool exhibit.
- The Lompoc Concert Association postponed its performance that had been scheduled for March 13. The organization reported that it will work with its booking promoter to possibly reschedule the show.
- The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County postponed the Lompoc Empty Bowls fundraiser that had been planned for March 28.
- The Alpha Club of Lompoc postponed its rummage sale that was to be held March 21.
- The American Association of University Women (AAUW) postponed its Women's History Month brunch that had been planned for March 21, with hopes to reschedule for the summer.
- The Lompoc Chamber of Commerce postponed its Dance Lompoc fundraiser that had been planned for March 21, as well as the Lompoc State of the City address that had been scheduled for April 14. The Chamber had previously announced that the “State of the Base” presentation at Vandenberg Air Force Base, which was slated for March 23, was also postponed.
- The Lompoc Public Library System, including the Lompoc and Village libraries, will be closed from Monday, March 16, through at least April 5.
- The city of Lompoc temporarily canceled all senior programs, with the exception of the Community Action Commission Senior Nutrition program, through March 27.
- The city also shut down the Lompoc Aquatic Center through March 27. After March 27, the cancellations and closures will be re-evaluated, according to a city spokeswoman.
All of the events — other than the aquarium open house, which was canceled — were postponed until further notice, and no potential makeup dates were announced.
“As a community we must remain vigilant and take an educated approach in minimizing risk factors through mitigation strategies such as social distancing,” read a portion of a statement from Amber Wilson, the president/CEO of the Lompoc Chamber. “The Chamber is committed to supporting the Lompoc business community in any way we can, and [the Chamber] feels confident we can navigate this situation together.”
Wilson's statement included a link to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on COVID-19, which is commonly referred to as coronavirus. That page can be accessed at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
The virus, as of Friday, had led to at least 41 deaths in the U.S., and California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday recommended canceling all gatherings of more than 250 people throughout the state.
Major sports and entertainment events throughout the U.S. and abroad have also been canceled or postponed.
Wilson's statement concluded by noting that everyone who registered for the Chamber's postponed events should have received an email with details on obtaining a refund. Anyone who did not receive the email was encouraged to contact Wilson directly at 805-736-4567, ext. 225, or at email@example.com.
“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to getting back to business as usual very soon,” Wilson said.
Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.
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