As of March 17, Riverside County had been moved by the California Department of Public Health to the red tier of the state’s reopening framework. Based on declining coronavirus cases (6.1 case rate), percentage of positive tests (3.3%) and health equity metric (3.7%), the move to red tier has let businesses in Palm Springs, CA to reopen.
This has meant resumption of indoor operations for many. Restaurants and movie theaters have since been operating at up to 25 percent capacity or 100 people (whichever is fewer). Museums, zoos, and aquariums, on the other hand, have opened to up to 25 percent capacity, while indoor gyms and fitness centers have opened at 10.
For larger locations, such as malls and retail stores, the move to red tier has allowed for their reopening and operation at 50 percent capacity. Similarly, intermediate and high schools have since been allowed to return to in-person instruction provided they have safety plans put in place and are duly approved.
What does this mean for the Palm Springs community?
Following the color-coded, four-tiered system for reopening, Palm Springs and the rest of Riverside County will need to remain in the red tier for at least three weeks and subsequently has to meet the orange tier metrics for two of those weeks before being able to advance to the next tier.
Should the community successfully minimize virus transmission and positive COVID-19 cases, Palm Springs residents can look forward to the further easing of restrictions and the ability to go outside and have gatherings with other people. This is particularly true for outdoor venues like playgrounds, picnic areas, and outdoor restaurants.
From a work and commercial standpoint, being put in the red tier and advancing well beyond it will continue to allow local businesses to begin operating again at expanding capacities. For many employees, this signaled their return to work. Some have been hired as places re-opened, while others have been re-hired by the business that they worked for pre-pandemic.
While Palm Springs and Riverside County as a whole are making headway within the tier system, masks and social distancing remain one of its requirements. So while residents are able to move a little more freely as more are vaccinated and transmission and positive cases are significantly reduced, everyone in the community is still expected to wear their masks and remain socially distant until further notice.
Help local businesses
While the threat of the Covid-19 virus has a long way to go before being completely eliminated, the health protocols administered in the county have allowed for some form of normalcy to come back to Palm Springs.
While most people are encouraged to follow safety practices to keep infections at bay, everyone is also invited to pay their favorite local cafes, stores, and restaurants a visit as they’ve reopened to limited capacity. Doing so helps out these businesses, and their continued operation also helps them have the resources to be better equipped to deal with the pandemic.