As county awaits move to less-restrictive tier, outdoor mask mandate in city lifted for some

Masks are still required inside businesses in Palm Springs, but as of Tuesday some residents and visitors are no longer required to wear them outside.

Residents and visitors in Palm Springs who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can lose their masks while outside, following the city’s decision Tuesday to rescind its emergency order requiring face coverings that went into effect last November.

“Face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports, events, or other similar settings,” city officials said in a news release. “For unvaccinated persons, face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained, including when attending crowded outdoor events.

“In indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status, except as outlined in the state’s guidance.”

The move is one of several recent decisions indicating a return to pre-pandemic life is approaching. The city’s main library reopens to the public today, and City Hall is expected to follow suit in the coming days. VillageFest, a popular outdoor street market held on Thursday nights, is expected to be held again starting July 1.

In the meantime, Riverside County, and in effect the city,  is still not quite ready to move to the less restrictive “yellow” tier. That tier requires both a positivity rate less than 2 percent and a new-case rate of fewer than 2 per 100,000 residents. The county currently has a positivity rate of 1.9 percent, but its state-adjusted case rate is 3.4 per 100,000 residents.

More information on COVID-19 in the city can be found here.


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BRIEFLY

LIBRARY REOPENING: The public is invited inside the Palm Springs Public Library again starting today at 10 AM. The library had been closed to the public for months due to COVID-19 precautions. Hours of operation at the library, 300 S Sunrise Way, will be Monday through Thursday, 10AM–6PM, and Friday and Saturday, 10AM–5PM. Face coverings are required for everyone over the age of 2. Computers will also be available again for use by the public.

The city’s Architectural Advisory Committee said a proposed wall around Plaza Las Flores does not fit in with downtown design standards, pictured here.

WALL DENIED: Approval for a proposed wall around Plaza Las Flores at Indian Canyon and East Tahquitz Canyon Way, requested as Grit Development moves forward with converting the retail and office complex into a suite hotel, was denied during the city’s Architectural Advisory Committee meeting Monday evening. The section of Plaza Las Flores that would be walled currently houses Oscar’s Restaurant, which the developer wants to replace with a pool for the property. City staff noted the wall and the pool it is designed to protect does not keep with the spirit of the city’s design standards, and committee members agreed, adding that putting a pool in the plaza corner seems “forced.” In other business, the committee approved a plan for the outdoor space at a planned six-story, 62-unit condominium project at the site of a formerly-proposed Virgin Hotel, bound by Belardo Road to the west, Andreas Road to the north, and Museum Way to the south. Those plans include a “Market Street” walkway with room for vendor carts, public seating, and strands of lights above the entire street.

CHECKPOINT RESULTS: Palm Springs police made one arrest of a driver for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and cited another driver for being unlicensed during a DUI checkpoint conducted Friday April 30. The checkpoint, in the 1100 block of E Tahquitz Canyon Way, saw more than 300 vehicles pass through between the hours of 9:30 PM and 2 AM. The police department routinely conducts checkpoints at locations with a history of crashes and DUI arrests. The next checkpoint in the city is scheduled for May 21.

EVENTS

TODAY

  • ONE-PS: The ONE-PS Code Enforcement & Public Works Committee meets at 10 AM. Information on joining that meeting via Zoom can be found here.
  • LIBRARY BOARD: The Palm Springs Public Library Board of Trustees meets at 5:30 PM. Information on viewing and participating in that meeting can be found here. The agenda can be viewed here.
  • HUMAN RIGHTS: The city’s Human Rights Commission holds a special meeting, starting at 5:30 PM. Information on joining that meeting can be found here. The meeting is being held to finish work on the Commission’s recommendation to remove the statue of former mayor Frank Bogert from in front of City Hall. We reported on that decision in our April 13 edition.
  • BOOK CLUB: The OutBook Book Club meets via Zoom at 7 PM. Information on joining that meeting can be found here. This month they are discussing “In the Absence of Men” by Philippe Besson.

ONGOING

  • TRINI LOPEZ MOVIE: An award-winning documentary on the life and times of Trini Lopez continues daily showings at the Palm Springs Cultural Center/Camelot Theater, 2100 E Tahquitz Canyon Way. Lopez, who had a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood, was a singer, guitarist, and actor who passed away in August 2020 from complications of COVID-19 at the age of 83. Show times are available here.
  • OUTDOOR ART: Desert X art installations are on display throughout the Coachella Valley, including several within the Palm Springs city limits. The free event runs through May 16. A map of the installations can be found here. Some require reservations to view.
  • VACCINES: Anyone 16 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 AM-5 PM through Friday. Appointments are encouraged, but not required, and can be reserved online at www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. You can also find a list of community providers such as pharmacies here.

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