Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force / Park News

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Borrego Springs COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, July 30, 2:00p

The Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force and supporters invite you to attend a virtual Town Hall meeting on Thursday, July 30th at 2:00pm.

How to join: · Log into the meeting with this link to a ZOOM conference: COVID-19 Town Hall or copy and paste in your browser:

If you wish to join by phone Dial in to: +1 669 900 6833 · New to ZOOM? Contact Bruce Kelley at, or call at 612.866.7876, for simple step by step instructions

Meeting moderated: by Bruce Kelly Phd., Coordinator, Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force.  Panel of Experts: Sayone Thihalolipavan, MD - SD County Dept. Public Health; Adolphe Edward, MD CEO - El Centro Regional Medical Center; Edgar Bulloch, MD - Regional Medical Director, Borrego Health; Dr. Alan Williamson - Eisenhower Health; Cheryl Agranovich, Founder and CEO of WellCorp

The panel of experts will explain what is real and what is myth about COVID-19

· How serious is COVID-19? How does it compare to the flu?

· What does asymptomatic mean? Can I still get sick?

· Washing hands, Wearing a mask, Maintaining social distance, Staying home - What are the best practices to avoid infecting someone and getting infected with COVID-19?

· Who is most at risk? Does age matter? Are young people at risk? Do your genes matter?

· Who should get tested and when?

· What is it like to be confirmed positive?

· When to decide to get treatment or go the hospital?

· How successful is treatment? What medicines work the best?

· Will there be a vaccine? When?

· What is the likelihood transmission within Borrego Springs will increase when seasonal residents and tourists return, and when schools open?

· When will our economy and lives get back to normal?

We thank the following organizations for their support; Borrego Valley Stewardship Council, Borrego Village Association, Borrego Valley Endowment Fund, Borrego Health (Borrego Medical Clinic), Anza-Borrego Foundation, Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association (ABDNHA), Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce Borrego Springs Revitalization for Economic Development/Tourism/Education/Public Health, Friends of the Borrego Springs Library, Borrego Springs Dark Sky Coalition, Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy, Borrego Springs Senior Center, Palms at Indian Head and others too numerous to list.

Knowledge is Health - Be informed to Stay Safe and Stop the Spread




June 10, 2020
The following is from the Borrego Springs Covid-19 Task Force and Borrego Health. Please share.

The full details of the Friday June 12 Covid free testing event in Borrego Springs are now published on our website.  The posting includes links to download both the pdf and jpg flier as well for printing or posting / distribution via your work locations, website, and facebook pages.

We would also like to take this opportunity to get the word out on another important matter.  Imperial County currently has one of the fastest growing rates of infection in the entire US, with El Centro having the second highest rate of infection in the US.  It is estimated that one of every 71 persons in El Centro have the virus, some with symptoms, some without.  There are many ties between Borrego Springs and the Imperial Valley, family ties, work ties, and people who go there to shop.  Hospitals in El Centro and Calexico are maxed out and patients are being flown to other hospitals.   Other areas with increasingly high rates of the virus include Yuma and Chula Vista.  It is wise to postpone trips to these areas at this time. 


June 8, 2020
Latest update from our friends at the Anza-Borrego Foundation

We are writing to share that Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has opened some day-use backcountry roads, as of last weekend. This is a phased and locally driven approach to increase access for those who are near Anza-Borrego. Due to "stay at home orders" that are still in place, please stay close to home and do not take a road trip to visit the Park. This is a fluid situation and the status of the Park may change again. Always visit the Park website for the most current information.

What is open now?

  • Anza-Borrego Desert SP is open to the public for day-use activities from sunrise to sunset. The park remains closed to camping (both developed and primitive)
  • Backcountry Unpaved Roads for day-use activities that do not lead into Ocotillo Wells, as their State Vehicle Recreation Area remains closed
  • Hell Hole Day-use Area
  • Sunrise Trail Head Parking / Day-use Areas

What is currently closed at the Park?

  • Developed Campgrounds
  • All Primitive Camps and camping areas
  • Borrego Palm Canyon Day-Use Area
  • The Visitor Center
  • Coyote Canyon between 3rd Crossing and North Coyote Canyon/Turkey Track Access Gate is also closed as part of annual summer closures
  • Special events and tours continue to be cancelled until further notice

When you visit to drive, hike, bike, or ride your horse on the roads or trails, make sure you wear your face mask whenever you are within six feet of another person who is not a member of your household to help protect park staff and other visitors.

Visitors are asked to responsibly enjoy the outdoors to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID19. We advise the public to stay local, continue to practice physical distance of 6 feet or more, avoid congregating with others outside of their immediate household. 

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we and the Park navigate this fluid situation! We will share any updates an they become available.

The ABF Team


Drive Up Testing: May 29: Borrego Springs Library, 2580 Country Club Road, Borrego Springs, CA 92004 - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Make an appointment by calling 211.

As part of efforts to expand COVID-19 testing, the County will be opening sites in rural communities and other areas of the region. New locations, starting Tuesday, will be staffed with first responders from CAL FIRE and the San Diego County Fire Authority.

“This virus knows no boundaries, so it is critical that we extend testing into our backcountry, including Julian, Pine Valley and other communities,” said District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County. “This initiative is part of our regional test, trace and treat strategy that is allowing us to track the course of the illness and help clear the way to safely restarting more of our economy.”

Testing will be set up outside several County Library branches throughout the region’s backcountry.

“San Diego County is vast covering over 4,500 miles, which is why it’s so important to make testing available in our rural areas, like Valley Center and Borrego Springs,” said District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond. “In order to get more people back to work and overcome the virus, we need to provide an ample amount of testing for all San Diegans.”

Drive-up testing sites will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in five rural communities. An appointment is necessary, and you can make one by calling 2-1-1. The sites will be on:

May 26: Julian Library, 1850 Highway 78, Julian, CA 92036

May 27: Pine Valley Fire Station 44 (OLD), 28850 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley, CA 91962

May 28: Valley Center Library, 29200 Cole Grade Road, Valley Center, CA 92082

May 29: Borrego Springs Library, 2580 Country Club Road, Borrego Springs, CA 92004

May 30: Potrero Library, 24883 Potrero Valley Road, Potrero, CA 91963

“Partnering to protect our communities is critical to reducing the spread of Covid-19,” says CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire Authority Chief Tony Mecham. “We are committed to working with our county health department to ensure all San Diego County residents, including those in the rural communities, are as safe as possible.”


May 18, 2020 Dear Fellow Residents:

As the COVID-19 disruptions go on, we know that it may be some time before we can return to our more “normal” lives and before the economy recovers fully.

If you are having financial troubles, you are not alone. The Borrego Springs Coronavirus Task Force has been trying to keep up with programs and resources available for supporting community members in need during this time. The Financial Support page on our website has a lot of information about specific programs, including the federal government CARES Act payments, state financial support and unemployment programs, help with utilities and other bills, and local sources of food assistance. Like all other pages on the Coronavirus Resource Center, this page can be translated into Spanish with the click of a button. And you can request help on our website, too.

If you need help applying for unemployment or other assistance, Task Force volunteers Urmi Ray and Sanjiv Nanda can help you fill out applications and make sure they are submitted properly. Contact them by phone at 760.533.1393. If you call to make an appointment, they can work with you in English or with a Spanish translator by phone or in person at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association at 652 Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs on a computer with a large monitor so you can keep a safe distance, but still have help filling out the online application.

The Borrego Minister’s Association is a good local place to call if you have any questions about how to meet your needs during this difficult time. They offer gift certificates for the local grocery stores, and may be able to provide small amounts of money from local donors or other kinds of support to meet your specific situation. For English call Diane at 203-644-5583 and for Spanish call Martha at 619-948-5900.

San Diego County residents can call 2-1-1 from a phone or visit 211 San Diego online for information and access to community, health, social and disaster services and support. And the Facebook group Borrego Springs 92004 is another source of ongoing information.

We want you to know that there are a lot of sources of support if you and your family need help. Asking for assistance may not feel comfortable, but please remember that many, many people are in similar circumstances. Please reach out when you are in need and let your friends and neighbors help.

Borrego Springs Coronavirus Task Force Bruce Kelley Martha Deichler Diane Johnson Betsy Knaak David Leibert Ernie Loza Caroline Manildi


18 de mayo, 2020
Estimados residentes de Borrego:

A la vez que las interrupciones de COVID-19 continúan, sabemos que será un buen tiempo antes que podamos regresar a nuestra vida “normal” y antes que la economía se recupere totalmente.

Si ustedes tienen dificultades financieras, no son los únicos. El Comisionado Especial de Coronavirus de Borrego Springs ha tratado de estar al tanto de programas y recursos disponibles para apoyar a los integrantes de la comunidad en necesidad durante este tiempo. La página Financial Support en nuestro sitio de la web tiene bastante información sobre programas específicos, incluyendo la ley de pagos del gobierno federal CARES Act, programas de apoyo financiero del estado y de subsidios de desempleo, ayuda para pagar servicios públicos y otras cuentas, y recursos locales de ayuda alimenticia. Como todas las otras páginas del Centro de Recursos Coronavirus, pueden leer esta página en español al hacerle clic a un botón. Además pueden pedir asistencia en request help de nuestro sitio de la web.

Si necesitan ayuda para solicitar subsidio de desempleo u otro tipo de ayuda, los voluntarios del Comisionado Especial Urmi Ray y Sanjiv Nanda pueden ayudarles a llenar las solicitudes y ellos se cercioraran que sean enviadas de la manera correcta. Comuníquense con ellos por teléfono al 760.533.1393. Si llaman para concertar una cita, ellos pueden ayudarlos en inglés o bien en español con la asistencia de un intérprete por teléfono o en persona en Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association ubicada en 652 Palm Canyon Drive en Borrego Springs usando una computadora de pantalla grande para que se pueda guardar una distancia física segura, pero seguir teniendo ayuda para llenar la solicitud en línea.

El lugar Borrego Minister’s Association es un buen sitio local para llamar si ustedes tienen preguntas sobre la manera de ayudarse con sus necesidades durante este tiempo dificultoso. Ellos ofrecen certificados de regalo para abarroterías locales, y probablemente puedan ayudar con pequeñas cantidades de dinero proveniente de donantes locales u otro tipo de apoyo para satisfacer su situación específica. En inglés llamar a Diane al 203-644-5583 y para español llamar a Martha al 619-948-5900.

Los residentes del Condado de San Diego pueden llamar por teléfono al 2-1-1 o visitar en línea este portal 211 San Diego para obtener información y tener acceso a servicios y apoyo comunitario, de salud, social y en caso de desastre. Asimismo, pueden visitar el grupo en Facebook Borrego Springs 92004 que es otra fuente de información vigente.

Queremos que sepan que existen muchas fuentes de apoyo si ustedes y su familia necesitan ayuda. Pedir ayuda probablemente no sea algo cómodo, pero recuerden que mucha, mucha gente está en circunstancias similares. Por favor comuníquense con estos sitios cuando lo necesiten y dejen que sus amigos y vecinos los ayuden.

Comisionado Especial de Coronavirus de Borrego Springs
Bruce Kelley Martha Deichler Diane Johnson Betsy Knaak
David Leibert Ernie Loza Caroline Manildi


May 4, 2020

Video Update from San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond.



May 1, 2020

Video update regarding face masks and update on business openings from San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond.


April 27, 2020

Video update including information on parks and beaches from Gov. Newsom.




For a list of Borrego Springs businesses that are open please click HERE.  Updated 4/26/2020 - please call ahead to confirm, status changes often.


Reopening Guidelines Released, Plans Underway


The White House has released President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.

The guidelines include public health criteria for entering different phases of reopening, state capacities that need to be in place, individual and business responsibilities, and guidelines for specific types of employers in different phases.

The phased approach suggested in the federal guidelines indicates that “reopening” will be gradual, and that people should not expect to return to normal life all at once. Social distancing will need to be continued for some time, testing will need to be done on a much more widespread basis, and caution to avoid new outbreaks.

On April 14, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled six key indicators that will guide the state’s decision-making about modifying stay-at-home orders and other COVID-19 restrictions. Download California’s Roadmap to Modify the Stay-at-Home Order here.

On April 21, Governor Gavin Newsom said that California has not seen the decline in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths that needs to happen before easing restrictions. Some counties are starting to ease some restrictions, which is allowed as long these moves do not conflict with state guidance.

Testing in California will also need to be expanded dramatically before widespread easing of restrictions, and so will the ability to trace the contacts of those found with COVID-19 infections.

Newsom has stated that Californians should expect to wear masks in public, have their temperature routinely taken and see very different floor plans in schools and businesses to maintain social distancing once stay-at-home measures are relaxed. He also said that before life can go back to “normal,” a vaccine would need to be in place, widespread “herd” immunity would need to exist among the population, or effective treatments would need to be readily available.

Governor Newsom has appointed a task force to help plan for business and jobs recovery.

In San Diego County, an Economic Recovery Advisory Group is helping plan a phased re-opening, and in Borrego Springs, community, health and business leaders are working on a local plan.


Borrego Springs Leaders Discouraging Visitors


Many Borrego Springs residents have been concerned about visitors who continue to come to the area, despite the closure of most local businesses and state parks. An April 5 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune urged non-residents to stay away, helping protect Borrego Springs from outside transmission of the virus and leaving critical supplies on the shelves for locals.


Coronavirus Confirmed in Borrego Springs


As of April 4, 2020, San Diego County has confirmed one positive Coronavirus case in Borrego Springs. See the county’s daily summary for up-to-date information.



CDC Advises Wearing a Cloth Face Covering in Public

In light of new evidence about how the coronavirus is spread, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to study the spread and effects of the coronavirus across the United States. Recent studies show the many people with coronavirus don’t show symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  

A few important things to know

  • Please donate professional masks (N95 and surgical masks) to hospitals. If you’re not a healthcare worker or a first responder, PLEASE wear a cloth or homemade mask and keep the personal protective equipment for healthcare providers.
  • Please remember that masks are not a replacement for other critically important things like staying home, frequently washing your hands with soap and water, and maintaining your distance from other people (6 feet).
  • Want to know the best materials for making your own mask? Studies suggest that two layers of cotton cloth and the magic ingredient in between—paper towel!—is a great combination, but any mask is better than no mask.

Interested in learning more about the scientific evidence about how a cloth mask can help us reduce viral transmission? Want instructions for making your own mask, whether or not you have a sewing machine? Want to know how to clean your reusable mask? Visit for instructions and videos, or see this illustrated guide.

“Analyses show that if 50% of the population were to wear masks, only 50% of the population would be infected by the virus. Once 80% of the population wears a mask, the outbreak can be stopped immediately.”

Study published in the United States National Library of Medicine


Sunday, April 5th


The Under the Sun Foundation supports a creative space, both physical and figurative, where we encourage people to engage with the arts, our natural environment, and one another.

The Foundation is the new steward of the landmark metal Sky Art sculptures of Galleta Meadows in Borrego Springs, CA.



Anza Borrego Desert State Park

UPDATE (March 31, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access. The park remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of 6 feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:

  • Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
  • Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.
  • Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.
  • Cancelled all events.

A list of closures is available online at The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.



March 30, 2020


Dear Members,

The Borrego Springs Coronavirus Resource Center, was launched Monday, March 30th at 9:00 a.m. by the Borrego Springs COVID-19 Task Force (see description below). The Resource Center provides residents of Borrego Springs with information (in English and Spanish) from credible national and local sources to help us protect ourselves and other residents, as best we can, from the Coronavirus.

The website address is Click to open. If it does not open, copy this address into a tab of your browser and click on it. 

You will find on the top menu bar under “Coronavirus Resource Center” a menu of pages to access. Those pages contain text with links to extensive information about Coronavirus and with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), many specific to Borrego Springs, such as when and how to seek care from Borrego Medical Clinic or the Fire Department.

You will find answers to many questions, such as:

·       What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms or feel sick?

·       Will I need testing?

·       How should older adults and other higher-risk individuals protect themselves?

·       How many cases of Coronavirus are confirmed in Borrego Springs and nearby communities?

·       I’m having problems affording or obtaining food. Where can I get help?

·       I’m having trouble paying my bills. Where can I get help?

Task Force members will continue accumulating information from more than 40 (mostly local) agencies and organizations. The Task Force will be updating the site frequently, especially with information specific to Borrego Springs. Please use the site regularly to help protect yourself and other residents.

Task Force members were chosen for their backgrounds in preventive medicine (Bruce Kelley, Chair), healthcare (Caroline Manildi), business (David Leibert), and leadership roles in community organizations (Martha Deichler, Betsy Knaak, Ernie Loza and Diane Johnson).

The Task Force received initial funding from the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund to launch the Borrego Springs Coronavirus Resource Center. More funding will be needed so BVEF has volunteered to be the recipient and manager of such donations.




March 30, 2020

What else do we need to do to keep ourselves and our families healthy? Wash hands frequently using warm water and soap, for 20 seconds each time. Don’t touch your face, nose or mouth so you don’t transfer the virus from your hands to your nose or mouth. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve. Stay home if you feel sick!




March 30, 2020

Keeping Ourselves and Borrego Springs Safe and Healthy

Under California State orders, we are all directed to stay at home except for essential trips. When we do go outside, we need to practice “social distancing” — staying at least six feet away from people we do not live with.

Why is it important to do these things? They will help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, which is easily transmitted when people are close together. The choices each of us makes can have a big effect on how quickly the virus spreads. Here’s a model to help you imagine the effect you—one person—can have.




March 29, 2020

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website has a lot of up-to-date information about Coronavirus. The CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions are available in English or Spanish. You can use these links to explore many questions and answers about Coronavirus on CDC’s full FAQ site, or you can go directly to the answers for the questions listed below by clicking on them.

The CDC has less detailed pages available in Spanish about Coronavirus symptoms and prevention and treatment.

The CDC is also the national source for travel recommendations, advisories and restrictions. The FAQs for travelers are available in English only. There are instructions for travelers returning from other countries in English and Spanish.

San Diego County

San Diego County Coronavirus Disease 2019 Frequently Asked Questions can be translated from English into Spanish and many other languages. The page also includes a “County News Center” with current updates.




March 22, 2020

Statement for Distribution by Sponsor Group The Borrego Springs

COVID-19 Task Force was formed and began to meet Tuesday, March 17. The Task Force is going full speed ahead to set up an information collection and distribution channel to provide Borrego Springs residents with information (in English and Spanish) from credible sources so they can protect themselves and other residents.

Task Force members were chosen for their backgrounds in preventive medicine (Bruce Kelley, Chair), healthcare (Caroline Manildi), business (David Leibert), and leadership roles in community organizations (Martha Deichler, Betsy Knaak, Ernie Loza and Diane Johnson).

Task Force members are accumulating information from more than 40 agencies and organizations. We are asking 15 local organizations that have large memberships to periodically forward (via email, social media, etc.) to its members information that will be provided by the Task Force. We are asking leadership groups like The Sponsor Group to encourage other organizations and residents to expect to receive periodic releases of information. The Task Force expects to also have a website go live next Wednesday evening (March 25th). The site will start with links to extensive information about COVID-19 and with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), many specific to Borrego Springs, such as how to get tested in Borrego Springs. The website should be fully functional the following Tuesday (March 31st).

The Task Force received initial funding from the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund to launch its initial projects. More funding will be needed so BVEF has volunteered to be the recipient and manager of such donations.

Please stay tuned and help the Task Force get credible and actionable information in the hands of residents.