This year’s “State of the Base” presentation, held annually at Vandenberg Air Force Base, has been postponed due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.
The event, a luncheon hosted jointly each year by the Lompoc and Santa Maria chambers of commerce, had been planned for March 23 at the on-base Pacific Coast Club.
The postponement was revealed in a Wednesday email sent to registered attendees by Amber Wilson, the president and CEO of the Lompoc Chamber. Her message noted that Air Force officials made the call to postpone the event, which typically involves base leaders discussing the base’s present and future plans.
“We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. We are doing our best to ensure the safety of the community and hope we can work with base personnel to reschedule in the future,” Wilson said. “I will be issuing refunds for this event; look for those in the very near future.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, there had been no reported cases of COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, in Santa Barbara County.
The virus, however, has wreaked havoc in other parts of the state, country and world. As of Wednesday, there were more than 125,000 confirmed cases and more than 4,600 deaths reported in 121 countries and territories across the globe. In the U.S., there have been more than 1,000 reported cases and at least 32 deaths, including three in California.
"While there are no confirmed cases in Santa Barbara County, we want to take steps to mitigate the spread as much as possible," Wilson said.
Due to the outbreak, several regions are instituting bans on large crowds, causing disruptions for sports and concert schedules, among others.
Earlier Wednesday, Lompoc Valley Medical Center announced that it had canceled a lecture scheduled for Saturday due to coronavirus concerns.
Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.
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