PALM SPRINGS — In the wake of the City Council’s directive to issue a Shelter In Place Order for Palm Springs residents and limit activities to only those essential to their daily lives questions surfaced about what constitute essential services.

The City Council’s directive, which comes amidst a coronavirus pandemic, was to close to the public all non-essential businesses, effective at 7 a.m. today, March 18.

The following provides clarification and guidelines to the exemptions of the city’s order.

Essential Activities (exemptions to the shelter in place order) include:

• Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
• Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as food, pet food and getting supplies necessary for staying at home;
• Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking or hiking, provided that you maintain at least 6-feet of social distancing;
• Caring for a family member in another household;
• Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;
• Work providing essential services at an essential business or essential government function (defined below).

Operation of Essential Businesses (exemptions to the shelter in place order) include:
• Healthcare operations, including home health workers;
• Essential Infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities;
• Newspapers, television, radio and other media services;
• Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores;
• Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities;
• Food cultivation, including farming, livestock and fishing;
• Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities;
• Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for essential activities;
• Home-based care for seniors, adults and children;
• Businesses that supply products needed for people to work at home and that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
• Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities;
• Interpretation services;
• Hotel operations;
• Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for pick up, delivery and drive-thru;
• Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
• Banks and related financial institutions;
• Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
• Garbage collection;
• Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses;
• Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
• Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
• Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods directly to residences;
• Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to go to work;
• Roles required for any essential business to “maintain basic operations,” which includes security, payroll and similar activities.

Essential Government Functions:
• This includes all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.

All businesses and individuals are reminded to practice social distancing (staying a distance of 6-feet from one other no matter the activity) and not gathering in groups of more than 10 people.

This order will remain in effect until April 2, 2020, when the City Council will consider if an extension is necessary.

Image Sources

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