Essential stores remain open during ‘shelter in place’


The Chaparral

El Paseo in Palm Desert is empty.

COVID-19 has altered our daily lives and it almost seems like going outside is illegal! And honestly, What is still open while we’re “shelter at home?”

This pandemic remains the biggest issue Americans are trying to tackle. We’ve all been told to stay home and it’s difficult to know what restaurants and businesses remain open.

While most businesses were told to close to help contain the spread of the virus, others were told to remain open.

They were “essential” to the public during the pandemic. Grocery stores like Stater Bro’s, Food 4 Less, Ralph’s, Whole Foods, Vons and Albertsons remain open during the pandemic.

As people stay home and eat food, grocery stores remain open, no need to panic-buy anymore. Store shelves are slowly beginning to become full again.

People are still able to leave home to purchase groceries and all our local grocery stores remain open. They do close earlier than before but you are still able to buy groceries, do not make “shelter in place” harder than it needs to be and just buy that bag of chips, a chocolate bar, some soda and relax.

Also, many stores have introduced a designated “senior citizen” shopping time. This gives older residents time to shop for items without having to be rushed and fight for groceries.

McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, In-N-Out, Five Guys and other fast-food restaurants are also open and available for takeout via drive-thru. And some of our favorite sit-in restaurants like Olive Garden and Mario’s Italian Café, are not open for dining in but are open for pick up.

For those who are avoiding going out in general, UberEats, Postmates and Grubhub are still doing deliveries.

These companies have been taking extra precautions when delivering food. Domino’s and Pizza hut have decided to leave your food at the door, with no interaction to abide by social distancing standards.

Postmates and Grubhub have also partnered with places like Burger King and Papa John’s to waive the usual delivery fees and offer “100% off delivery.”

But unfortunately, many restaurants in the Coachella valley are locally owned and were not equipped for pick up ordering.

Postmates have a ‘Support local restaurants” section where you can find a support local food establishments like Andy’s, Polo Pizza and Bob’s Twin Kitchen, which is essential to help keep local businesses from failing in these uncertain times.

“Shelter in place” may seem scary, but there is no need to be scared. Go to your local grocery store and pick up some comfort food like chocolate chip cookies and milk or even better make them from scratch, you have all the time in the world, and endless possibilities.

While bars, gyms, and schools remain closed, it is important to have fun and take advantage of the free time we now have while we stay safe in our homes.

For the latest news on California’s Shelter in Place policy please visit