Valley Children’s Hospital announced it is cancelling its annual Kids Day fundraising event the same day California officials declared a state of emergency over coronavirus concerns.
In a statement issued March 5, Valley Children’s said it canceled Kids Day, an annual fundraising event that has taken place the last 33 years, to protect volunteers from the spread of the coronavirus. The event was scheduled to take place Tuesday, March 10.
“After careful consideration and out of an abundance of caution, this year’s Kids Day will be cancelled in order to protect the health and safety of the more than 8,000 volunteers who signed up to participate and the tens of thousands of generous Valley residents who buy the special edition Fresno Bee sold on street corners from one end of the Valley to the other,” the hospital said in statement.
Valley Children’s is also stepping up security and safety measures.
The hospital will limit visitors to parents/guardians and direct caregivers of patients only. Visitors will be screened at all entrances with questions regarding health and recent travel history. The hospital will also provide masks to visiting parents if necessary.
The guidelines affect all of its valley locations, including its primary, specialty and urgent care practices.
“In all we do at Valley Children’s, the safety of our kids – and the safety of our staff who care for them – are our top priorities,” said Valley Children’s President and CEO Todd Suntrapak. “We are committed to creating the safest environment possible for children to receive care and keeping our own staff safe is essential to ensure that we can continue to provide the care needed by so many Valley families.”
The announcement arrives one day after covid-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus, claimed its first life in California. The death, which occurred in Placer County, is the first U.S. death outside of Washington State and brings the national total to 11.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency the next day, as six new cases were reported in Los Angeles County.
California reported 45 cases of the virus at press time. No cases have been reported in the Central Valley.
Valley Children’s said its infection prevention team, pediatric disease specialists and leadership are monitoring developments on a daily basis and will adjust protocols and procedures as needed.