COVID-19 Health and Safety

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The City of Indio is actively monitoring input from local, state and national health officials to assess the health risks of COVID-19, and update those risks to stakeholders. Additionally, we are in contact with Riverside County Public Health, which facilitates conference calls and sharing information with partner agencies. Their message is constantly updated here, and includes the latest information about coronavirus, as well explanations about the most frequently asked questions about regulations in the state and in Riverside County.

On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to stay at home, except to perform essential tasks.  He announced the creation of a website to answer questions about what this means for the daily lives of Californians.  This order supersedes previous orders, listed below. 

On March 12,  2020 Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser issued an Official Order, cancelling all events with expected attendance above 250 people.  On March 13, 2020, he ordered the closure of all schools in Riverside County from March 16-April 3, 2020.  That order was amended on March 17, extending school closures through April 30, 2020.

On March 16, the City of Indio issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency, which is set to be ratified by the Indio City Council at the regularly scheduled meeting on March 18th.  This local proclamation will support the City's planning and response efforts, and is a signal to the community that the City is prepared to mobilize local resources, coordinate interagency response, and use mutual aid in the event the COVID-19 virus has been introduced to the immediate area.  In addition, on March 16, Dr. Kaiser revised his previous order, and is now restricting public gatherings from 250 people or greater to no more than 10.

Kaiser’s health order also says that gatherings with fewer than 10 people must have enough available room to maintain six feet of space between attendees. There are limited exemptions to the 10-person rule, including healthcare facilities, grocery stores, daycare centers and restaurants serving take-out.

As directives from public health agencies change, the City of Indio will update our residents with changes to public services and activities.  

Here is the latest from the City of Indio:

Updated 3/27/20

Indio City Hall will be temporarily closed, effective Monday, March 30th, out of caution and concern for the health of employees, customers and the public.  See details on contact information in Building and Planning Services, see here.

Updated 3/25/20

Over the coming days, Indio residents may notice increased activity around the Riverside County Fairgrounds, where a Federal Medical Station (FMS) is being set up. The FMS will help ease the burdens in our local hospitals by providing medical care for non-COVID patients. This will allow for more acute patients to receive in-hospital care at any of our area's three hospitals, while providing care to local residents as needed and reducing the risk of coronavirus exposure. We would like to thank the California National Guard for providing their assistance and support at this facility.

For more information related to the FMS in Indio, check here.

Updated 3/24/20

  • The Station 87 and Mulligan Dog parks are closed.
  • No park or special events permits will be issued at this time.

Updated 3/23/20

  • The City of Indio is now offering online building and planning submittals, as well as online payment availability.
  • For all Building and safety submittals, payments, and inspections please refer here.

    For all Planning submittals, payments, and inspections, please refer here
  • The Lights at Indio Golf Course is closed for play.  The post office at the Pro Shop remains open for urgent mailing needs.  The operational hours are 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Updated 3/19/20

  • The City of Indio addresses an order by Governor Newsom for Californians to shelter-in-place.  Read the City's response here.
  • For the time being, the City of Indio will not issue garage sale permits.
  • City of Indio parks will remain open, however, playground equipment will be closed to the public.
  • The City has compiled list of local grocery stores that are providing special hours for senior citizens to shop before the general public hours.  See the FAQ below for specific details, or visit the Indio Senior Center Facebook page.

Updated 3/18/20

  • Our regularly scheduled City Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber.  The public is encouraged to watch the meeting virtually on the City's website, or on Facebook Live.

If you choose to attend the Council meeting in person, please maintain the appropriate social distancing of 6 feet between individuals.

  • Sunline Transit announced that local fixed route and paratransit bus service will be provided free of charge. SunLine Transit Agency is taking precautions to provide the recommended social distancing and to help the community in these uncertain times. Passengers without disabilities will be directed to use the rear door of the vehicle for boarding and alighting to minimize contact with transit operators at the front door and farebox area. People utilizing mobility devices or who need the ramp will be allowed to board and alight from the front door of the vehicle.  Sunline is also enhancing cleaning.  To learn about any changes to service routes, click here.
  • At the City's March 18, 2020 Council meeting, the City Manager affirmed that the City has suspended parking enforcement on street sweeping days because of concerns residents may be home and not able to move cars.  However, street sweeping is an important function to maintain street cleanliness, eliminating debris from roadways that could otherwise cause damage to people and property.  It also removes debris that could otherwise clog or contaminate storm drains, and cause flooding during inclement weather.  For that reason, the City encourages residents and visitors to continue whenever possible, to move their cars on scheduled street sweeping days.
  • The City Manager also affirmed that all water-shut offs through Indio Water Authority will be stopped during this period of financial concern.

Updated 3/17/20 and effective immediately:

  • The lobby at the Indio Police Department will be closed until further notice to reduce the exposure potential to lobby visitors and our personnel.
  • All non-emergency calls will be evaluated accordingly to determine the appropriate response. We will encourage applicable non-emergencies to be handled via phone report or by utilizing our online reporting services.
  • We will continue responding to ALL emergency calls for service.
  • If you need to report non-emergency or routine issues, please file an online report at, or call our non-emergency dispatch line at (760) 391-4051.
  • For general Police Records and Code Enforcement related matters, please call the main line at (760) 391-4057.

Updated 3/16/20:

  • The Indio Senior Center has temporarily closed.  For the latest, and questions about previously scheduled food distribution, check here.  You can also call (760) 391-4170.
  • The Indio Teen Center has closed until further notice.  For more information, call (760) 541-4414.
  • All lobby services at City Hall, Indio Water Authority and Plans will be closed from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. daily.
  • Although the lobby at IWA will remain open, nearly all transactions at Indio Water Authority, including bill pay, can be conducted online or by phone.  Bill pay can also be conducted via drop box, through the web portal, or by phone.  Call (760) 391-4038 or email for additional information.
  • The counter at City Hall remains open, however, appointments are strongly encouraged for plan reviews and other permit processing.
  • Desert Theatreworks, which operates out of the Indio Performing Arts Center (IPAC), is postponing its 2019/2020 season effective immediately.  Call the box office at (760) 980-1455 for more information.
  • The Coachella Valley History Museum will close until further notice.
  • The official ribbon cutting for the opening of the Indio Hills Trail, scheduled for March 20, 2020 has been postponed until the fall.  A new date will be announced at a later time.

At home, work, and in the public, you can utilize best practices for health year round. That includes staying home if you feel sick, washing your hands, and coughing into your elbow, rather than your hands. Being prepared also means having basic essentials on hand, like an earthquake preparedness kit.  Here is a guide to some commonly asked questions about emergency preparedness, health and safety, and the spread of illness.


FAQ's on COVID-19

What’s the COVID-19 situation in Riverside County?

Riverside County Public Health officials are monitoring the latest news and updates about coronavirus and related issues, and are providing near daily updates on their website:

Riverside County Public Health Website for the Coronavirus

Riverside County Health Website Home Page

What’s happening with the music festivals?

On March 10, 2020, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser announced that due to concerns about COVID-19, the two music festivals scheduled for April in Indio were cancelled. In their efforts to evaluate options for continuing with the concerts, producer Goldenvoice approached the City of Indio about postponing the festivals for a date in the fall of 2020, and a decision was made to reschedule the Stagecoach and Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festivals for October. More information about the concerts can be found here.

While the coronavirus is a relatively new medical challenge, the agencies entrusted to coordinate this response – including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and major medical institutions – are following long-established protocols for managing an infectious disease medical outbreak. All of these agencies, including the City of Indio staff, have trained for decades on how to work through these emergency scenarios. We are carefully doing so, and will take whatever measures are called for at the times that are appropriate for those decisions. There are no shortcuts to these practices.

We will continue to provide additional information as we are aware. For now, we suggest that residents and visitors throughout the Coachella Valley follow the practices and information being provided daily by our Riverside County Public Health Department and by State and Federal agencies. For further information regarding those practices, please see the links below.

What is a novel coronavirus? (Provided by Riverside County Public Health)

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Human Coronavirus Types

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

How does the virus spread?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

How are schools in Indio being impacted?

On March 13, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser ordered the closure of the county’s schools. This order begins on Monday, March 16th and expires on April 3, unless another update is warranted before that. Click here to read the order.

Does CDC recommend the use of facemask to prevent COVID-19?

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

What is allowed to be open? Golf courses? Churches? What is an “essential service?”

Riverside County’s Public health department recently created a list of frequently asked questions to address what should and should not be operating right now, using guidance from the state. Both public and private golf courses must be closed, but basic maintenance can be performed. Churches are not allowed to hold public services. Click here for more details on what’s allowed and what is prohibited.

Are some local grocery stores offering special hours for senior citizens to shop before the general public?

The following local stores have provided the following hours to help protect those who are older from mingling with the general public.

El Super (81691 CA-111, Indio) - 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Smart & Final (La Quinta & Coachella) - 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Cardenas Market (82266 US Highway 111, Indio) - 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Target (La Quinta) - 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Stater Brothers (81056 CA-111, Indio) - 7:45 a.m.

Vons (La Quinta) - 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Walmart (81056 CA-111, Indio) - 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. (Starting Tuesday, March 24)

Costco (La Quinta) - 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (Monday – Friday only)

Ralphs and Food 4 Less are not do not have special hours for senior citizens to shop. However, if there is a line, seniors will get priority to enter the store first.

Should I be concerned about traveling, or being involved in travel related industries?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided an interactive map for the purpose of issuing travel related health notices. You can watch and monitor the risk assessment level throughout the Continental U.S. here. To view live updates on cases worldwide, please visit.

Riverside County Public Health
CDC General Information CDC Situation Summary  CDC Prevention and Treatment
CDC Frequently Asked Questions
 CDC Handwashing  CDC Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings  CDC Guidelines for Travelers
 CDC Coronavirus "What To Know" Fact Sheet  CDC Coronavirus "What To Do" Fact Sheet  U.S. Customs and Border Protection
 Updates from the World Health Organization
World Health Organization Coronavirus Situation Reports
 Eisenhower Health Community Member Hotline - 760-837-8988 or 760-TEST988 State of CA. Shelter in Place 


Ave 48 road improvements to begin next month

Road work on Ave 48 from Jefferson to Calhoun is scheduled to begin Monday, March 2, 2020.

This work will include a road slurry and a new striping design to accommodate new bike lanes and striping along a stretch of road that sees an average of between 16,000 and 20,000 vehicles per day.

The $1.25 million project is funded by the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), CA Gas tax, Measure X and Measure A, and is scheduled to be complete by April 1, 2020.

During construction, flagging operations will restrict traffic flow Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes as traffic delays are anticipated. The public’s cooperation and observance of all construction signs will also be greatly appreciated to ensure safety of both drivers and construction crews.

“NO PARKING” signs will be posted 72 hours in advance of scheduled work. There will be no street parking on scheduled slurry days. A short segment of Ave. 48 near Jefferson will be completed at a later date due to a separate traffic signal and intersection project.  

This type of work is part of the City’s ongoing maintenance program to restore the appearance of street pavement and extend its service life. However, this particular project is a first step in what is anticipated to be a spur of the CV Link Arts & Music Line, a project led by Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG). Safety and road improvements on Ave 48 are an early component to this project to provide pedestrians and cyclists safe access to the music and art festivals at the Empire Polo Grounds, as well as providing an auxiliary route to Highway 111 for non-motorized transportation.

For questions regarding the Ave 48 road enhancement project please call CHARLIE HOFFMAN, PMI SUPERINTENDENT at (760) 802-8422.