March 20, 2020
Dear Friends:

We are all going through some very difficult and troubling times so providing updated information and guidelines to our community, regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), is of the utmost importance. Please visit our website by clicking here to see city updates, various relief efforts and find helpful resources.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:

"We need to change the course of this pandemic. We have a responsibility to each other. This is unprecedented. Comprehensive efforts are needed. We can't do this without the cooperation of the young people."

I trust most of you heard or saw California Governor, Gavin Newsom's "stay at home" order last night that goes into effect today. The link to the full 5 minute announcement can be found here:  (click here)  An overview of what that means and the full executive order are available here: Stay at home order and summary (click here). Keep in mind, the essential services that will remain open are:
  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies 
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants 
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry services
The order talks about 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors that can remain operational during this order. Those are explained in detail here:16-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19. If you are not one of the critical infrastructure sectors, you are required to cease operations immediately and do your part to stop the spread of this disease.

It is strongly encouraged for all residents considered to be "at risk" to stay home and minimize necessary trips. Everyone is to practice social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19. Together we can reduce the curve and slow the demand on our health services.
Many restaurants are now providing pick up or delivery services and many companies now have apps with order ahead services, to facilitate quicker pickups. Fast food restaurants are encouraging drive-thru services. Please  click here   to get the latest list of restaurants in the Coachella Valley Stay-In Ta ke-Out services. 
In Governor Newsom's press conference last night, he specially called out restaurants doing "take-out" and/or "delivery" service as "essential". Most of our Rancho Mirage restaurants are not equipped to transition to this model and some have closed. In an effort to ensure stable and continuous access to food and supplies for the residents of Rancho Mirage and neighboring areas, the City Council passed a budget not to exceed $400,000 from their Disaster Preparedness reserve to assist in these efforts. Our grocery stores continue to be overrun by panic buying and many of our restaurants who are not experiencing delays in supply chain are not ordering because they are considering closing their doors. To be absolutely clear, these funds and efforts are to ensure our community has access to food and supplies via our restaurants some of whom are already doing creative and impactful things. We want to ensure they have resources to continue during this "stay at home" order.  

As a reminder, Eisenhower Health Center is closed to all visitors, but their clinics are open and serving patients in the Coachella Valley. Eisenhower Health wants to provide you with the latest information about the Coronavirus. Call their hotline at 760-TEST988 (or 760-837-8988) to discuss any symptom concerns before presenting at any of their locations. The line is staffed 24 hours a day by registered nurses who are ready to assist you.  Please note that no information about any patient diagnosed with Coronavirus can be shared via this hotline.

Eisenhower staff have already answered close to 10,000 calls... p lease join me in thanking and praying for our amazing healthcare professionals and first- responders , who are on the front lines fighting this pandemic and helping our community. 

Also, the State of California just released a one-stop website for the California Coronavirus Response efforts. You can find it by clicking here , its easy to navigate and has links to apply for unemployment, paid family leave and much more...be sure to add this to your list of informational resources. 

While we must now take time apart its important to stay connected.Take time to call friends or relatives who might be alone or just need to hear a friendly voice. 

And remember to maintain sensible behavior, we all need to do our part...be strong and be positive. We will get through this together.

Take Care ,
Mayor Iris M. Smotrich
City of Rancho Mirage