Desert Hot Springs News

Coronavirus Regulations Update & FAQs

Posted by City of Desert Hot Springs on May 13, 2020 1:00:27 PM

As we continue to move into Phase 2 of Governor Newsom’s reopening plan, the City of Desert Hot Springs has compiled this resource for residents to understand where we are as a community.


The City of Desert Hot Springs is currently guided by regulations from the State, County, and City level. The only case in which City-level regulations may differ from County and State regulations is if the proposed City regulation is more strict than the regulations of those governing bodies.


The City of Desert Hot Springs relies on State grants and federal funding. Therefore, we must respect the guidelines coming down from federal, State, and County officials. We continue to ask that all residents do the same, so we can emerge from this crisis strong and ready for our next phase of growth.


In the meantime, Mayor Pro Tem Robert Griffith is putting together a task force to explore reopening. For more information, contact him at or 760-329-6411.




Do we still have to stay at home?

Yes. The Governor issued a state-wide stay-at-home order on March 19, and that order has no expiration date. At this time, we have no option but to follow it.


Do we still have to wear masks?

Yes. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted on May 8 to make wearing facemasks “highly recommended” instead of mandatory. However, on May 5, the City of Desert Hot Springs City Council passed a resolution requiring the use of masks and social distancing within City limits. The full resolution does include some exceptions, and can be read here.


When do we get to reopen?

As with much of this crisis, the State and County officials are putting together reopening plans and announcing new regulations on an almost daily basis. The Governor has created four distinct Phases of reopening, which can be instituted based on local health data. Counties may petition the governor to receive special dispensation to open earlier than the State at large, if their health data permits. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors has said that the Governor’s benchmarks are unrealistic for our County. On May 12, they voted to adopt a reopening plan that is focused on federal guidelines, which only require a general downward trend in key metrics to allow for reopening. This issue is still being resolved, and the City is working actively with the County to accelerate the process of reopening as quickly and as safely as possible.


Who gets to go back to work?

The State continues to update the list of sectors that are considered essential or safe for reopening. That information can be found on a daily basis at


If people can’t go back to work yet, do they have to worry about eviction?

On Friday, March 27, the Desert Hot Springs City Council passed a resolution that instituted a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions in the City until May 31, 2020. Read the full resolution here.


How did we get to this point?

March 4: Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency.


March 13: Riverside County ordered all schools closed and cancelled all public gatherings of 250 people or more.


March 13: The City of Desert Hot Springs introduced operational changes. City staff were split into two groups with staggered work schedules and weekly rotations of working in the office vs working from home. Limited lobby and front counter operations were instituted.


March 16: Riverside County modified the existing orders to prohibit gatherings of ten people or more. Some essential businesses were precluded from that order.


March 16: Desert Hot Springs City Council added to the County orders. Fast food and drive thru restaurants were ordered to close their dining areas and operate for pickup or drive thru only. Restaurants with seated dining were asked to limit guests to ten people at a time or transition to takeout only. Code compliance hand delivered notices to all businesses in the City.


March 17: DHS City Manager declared a local state of emergency pending ratification.


March 18: City Council ratified the state of emergency.


March 19: Governor Newsom issued a stay at home order, excepting only those workers needed to maintain the continuity of operations of the federal core infrastructure.


March 27: City Council adapted a resolution to protect residents and commercial renters from evictions during the pandemic.


April 29: County officials announced that rather than extending the stay at home order set to expire on April 30, they would cede to the oversight of the Governor’s Stay at Home Orders. The following orders were extended through June 19:

+Ban on short term rentals

+Suspension of Schools

+Requirement to wear a facemask and social distance


April 29: Governor Newsom issued the California Resilience Roadmap Stages for ReOpening CA.


May 5: Desert Hot Springs City Council adopted a resolution mandating the use of protective face coverings and the continued practice of social distancing in DHS. That resolution can be read here.


May 8: Riverside County officials rescinded the following orders:

+Ban on short-term rentals (That does not mean hotels get to open up, under the governor’s orders.)

+Requirement to wear a facemask and social distance

+Order related to golf courses


For other frequently asked questions, check out our previously published FAQs here.


Tags: resident, coronavirus, covid-19