As COVID-19 vaccinations across the country push past the 50 percent mark, the picture in Palm Springs is even brighter, and more signs of a return to pre-pandemic life are emerging.
According to data released by Riverside County Monday, more than 80 percent of city residents over the age of 12 are now fully vaccinated. Only four other communities in the county with populations over 2,000 have a higher vaccination rate, lead by Idyllwild, with a vaccination rate of 95 percent.
There has not been a COVID death reported in the city since early April, when the 125th death from the virus was recorded. For the month of May, an average of nine new cases have been reported each week, compared to 11 in April and 24.5 in March.
While the county remains in the orange tier (moderate), and may not reach benchmarks for the yellow tier (minimal) for at least two more weeks, the city has already met the yellow tier benchmarks, but remains tied to county guidelines on restrictions. On June 15 the state will lift its mandated restrictions, however, and the city could follow suit.
That means by mid-June businesses would be able to open their doors without limits on capacity or requirements for physical distancing. Fully-vaccinated residents and visitors would no longer need to wear masks in most situations.
In anticipation of lifted restrictions, several groups in the city are busy this week making announcements about a return to normal operation. Among them:
- The city announced Tuesday that three summer day camps are now accepting reservations through June 7. Information about those camps, which begin June 14, can be found here
- The Boys & Girls Club announced its summer sessions will be held June 7-July 28. Information on those sessions can be found here.
- The Mizell Center announced it plans to open for in-person programs starting June 15.
Entertainment venues are getting back in the act as well. Among them, Copa Nightclub announced that it is re-opening this weekend.
The city is also expected to re-open VillageFest on Thursday evenings starting July 1. It has already opened the city library to visitors and expects to re-open City Hall soon.
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HONORING THE FALLEN: An annual display commemorating Palm Springs residents killed in the line of duty or missing in action is once again in place outside the Palm Springs Historical Society, 221 S Palm Canyon Dr. Lee Wilson Jr. has erected memorials for 27 KIA/MIA from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan for the past nine years. Also included are Palm Springs police officers who gave their lives in service to the community. The display will be visible throughout Memorial Day Weekend. Wilson credited Rene Brown and the Palm Springs Historical Society, and also the Palm Springs Teachers Association, for supporting the project since its inception.
CRASH VICTIMS: The Riverside County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday identified two teenage victims of a rollover crash last Friday evening on Highway 111 near Angel Canyon Trail. Dennis Savard, 17, and Jazmin Thomas, 16, both from Banning, died at the scene after the vehicle they were riding in containing four occupants crashed around 8 PM. The two other occupants were transported to a hospital, where one later died. The incident occurred in an area known for dangerous conditions — Windy Point — where drivers often take a curve at higher speeds than recommended. Speed is believed to have been a factor in this crash, which caught residents’ attention when the sound from the crash could be heard in north Palm Springs.
EVENING HOURS: The P.S Flea Market & Food Fest, 675 Crossley Rd., announced Tuesday it will transition to evening hours, starting this weekend. The venue will be open from 5-10PM Friday through Sunday and continue those hours every Friday and Saturday through September. “While the market has experienced growing pains, it is our hope that with continued community support the market will grow and become a regular Palm Springs happening,” owner Robert Lopez said in announcing the move to evening hours.
- MIZELL CENTER: The Mizell Center hold four events today. For a complete list, you can see the facility’s calendar here.
- ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS: The city’s Administrative Appeals Board meets tonight at 5:30 PM. An agenda and online participation information can be found here. Up for discussion are three appeals of vacation rental citations, fines, and bans.
- PLANNING COMMISSION: The city Planning Commission meets at 5:30 PM, following a study session at 4 PM. Information on participating in the meeting can be found here. Among items up for discussion are revised plans for the property formerly known as the Andaz Hotel, 414 N Palm Canyon Dr.
- VACCINES: Anyone 12 and older now qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine in Riverside County. If you qualify, you can get one at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 North Avenida Caballeros, from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 8:30 AM until 7 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Appointments are not required, and those age 12-17 need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. You can also find a list of community providers such as pharmacies here.
Want to know about city and other municipal events? Road construction in your neighborhood? Building activity? Have something to report? The following links should help: