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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival to offer free COVID-19 vaccines and tests through Coachella Valley and Riverside County collaboration

A multiracial group of people dressed for a Gay Pride celebration. Stock Photo
The 35th annual Greater Palm Springs Pride Festival will kick off November 5 in downtown Palm Springs, welcoming the LGBTQ community and allies to reconnect and celebrate after nearly two years of COVID-19.

In addition to the festive entertainment, parade, and community building that have defined Pride for decades, attendees will find at the festival an opportunity to keep themselves safe during the pandemic. Riverside University Health System - Public Health, the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative, and TruEvolution have joined forces to offer free COVID-19 vaccines and tests during Pride Weekend.

Both the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, as well as third doses of Pfizer and booster shots of both vaccines, will be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6. Free PCR tests also will be available during that time. Testing will continue from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, but vaccines will not be offered on the second day.

Attendees who are 12 and older are eligible to receive a dose of Pfizer (please bring your vaccine card if it's your second dose), while those who are 18 and older can receive the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. All ages can be tested.

"Pride is such an important event in many communities, especially in the Coachella Valley where LGBTQ+ residents have established deep roots and a lasting impact," said Kim Saruwatari, Riverside County Department of Public Health Director. "By offering free COVID-19 vaccines and testing at this year's festival, our intention is to help ensure all attendees learn their COVID-19 status and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their friends and families. I am thankful to Greater Palm Springs Pride President Ron deHarte and his team for working with us and welcoming our pop-up clinic this weekend."

The vaccine and testing clinic will be located on Palm Canyon Drive between Museum Way and Andreas Road. To pre-register, please click here. Walk-ins are welcome.

"Equity is at the forefront of our response to COVID-19 in the Coachella Valley," said Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, CEO of the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, a leading organization of the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative. "Creating fair and just access to COVID-19 vaccines and testing for traditionally underserved communities, including LGBTQ residents, is a primary goal of our collaborative work. The Pride Festival provides an invaluable opportunity to continue this outreach with Riverside County and TruEvolution."

To learn more about TruEvolution and its work advocating for health equity and racial justice, please click here.

About the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative
In fall 2020, acting as the financial intermediary for $1.2 million in CARES Act funds from Riverside County Public Health, the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation facilitated a collaborative to increase efforts to bring testing, resources, and eventually vaccines to traditionally undeserved communities, including thousands of migrant farmworkers in eastern Coachella Valley. Comprised of community- and faith-based organizations, the collaborative continues its work with the county today to stop the spread of COVID-19 through a robust vaccination campaign. In recent months, its efforts have been bolstered by the contributions of Rite Aid Pharmacies, the Public Health Institute, valley school districts, and Desert Care Network.