Video captured on Father’s Day at NYPD Restaurant and Bar shows a close crowd with no face coverings, concerning some visitors in downtown Palm Springs.
“People need to understand that this is a process. We can’t just go from zero to 60, we need to find that half way point. I think the majority of people are honoring that, but a few bad apples spoils the bunch,” said Robert Meixner, a Palm Springs visitor.
Now local businesses like Fruit Wonders say more enforcement is needed.
“Not a lot of the people here were six feet apart, they weren’t really taking precautions some were putting on sanitizer but other than that it wasn’t really a handle on it,” said Hailey Madera, an employee of Fruit Wonders.
The council placed banners on Palm Canyon to remind shoppers to wear face coverings, and says they’ve added extra personnel on the weekends to address concerns.
“We’re trying to make sure that we’re doing spot checks, when we see areas we’re asking people to comply, and for the most part they have been and we really appreciate that,” said David Ready, the Palm Springs City Manager.
The city also plans to increase enforcement for Fourth of July weekend, despite facing budget cuts.
“This isn’t about I gotcha, this is about changing behavior. This is about asking people to comply and we really are finding that they are. If there is a hot spot, if there is some very willful non-compliance, someone could get a citation,” said Ready.
But the city manager also says that citations are a last resort, as education remains a top priority.
He also adds that keeping Palm Springs healthy and safe is a group effort.
“This kind of social seat change, if you will, requires way more than any local government, particularly Palm Springs, could do on enforcement. This requires everyone to work together,” said Ready.
Concerned residents can call the Palm Springs COVID-19 hotline (760) 902-1155, code enforcement number(760) 778-8434, and non-emergency police number.