City of Bishop, California



From Inyo County Incident Command:

As we all now know, the California Governor issued an Executive Order that among other things required all Californians not engaged in essential activities to remain at home. It also identified Critical Infrastructure Sectors and associated essential business types. The Inyo County Public Health Officer issued Health Orders to assist in clarifying the Governor’s order and to provide guidelines for these businesses to operate safely. Fortunately our community members have largely been self-motivated to comply with these orders and helped the currently-successful battle to minimize our local rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Inyo County Unified Command is aware of the serious financial hardships caused by the Governor’s Executive Order, and is anticipating a modification of this order soon. Until that time, we expect residents and business owners to continue to adhere to the State and local Orders.

For essential businesses that are currently operating, in order to provide a safe space for employees and customers, business owners should require that masks are worn by employees and patrons, and continue to enforce physical distancing protocols.

COVID-19 News Releases – Comunicados de prensa

*  May 8, 2020 – Update on Inyo County’s COVID-19 Response
*  Inyo County COVID-19 Reopening Plan
*  California Department of Fish and Wildlife Delays Trout Season Openers in Three Counties *
* Inyo County Invites You to a COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meeting *
* Inyo County Community volunteer Network *
California Public Health Officials Release — Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings
State of California – Health and Human Services Agency — Face Coverings Guidance
Inyo County Updates – Para español, haga clic en el enlace y seleccione español en el menú desplacable de idiomas en la parte superior de la página
California Department of Public Health –
March 20, 2020: Governor’s Executive Order –

Statement Discouraging Travel to Bishop for Now

Bishop is a small town with a big backyard … and a small hospital! We all love the Owens Valley for the large outdoor playground it is. The sparseness and remoteness of the area can be a much needed break from Big City life. Yet in times of crisis, this remoteness can also be a liability — we do not have access to the abundance of supplies present in bigger cities; our infrastructure is not set up to handle a large influx of people; and of particular concern at present times, our health care infrastructure for the entire Owens Valley is designed for a population smaller than the individual neighborhoods in most cities.

The Governor has prohibited all non-essential travel. We understand our small town with a Big Back Yard is a lovely place to recreate, and further recognize that while trips here can be seen as “needed”, they do qualify as “non-essential”. For those of you who have decided to heed the prohibition from the Executive Order of the Governor and have postponed your travel plans, we firstly want to thank you for considering visiting us in the first place, and further thank you for making a decision that is right for our community’s health, and hope to see you soon when we have all gotten through this.

This is a difficult message for us to send, as we know how many of you cherish Bishop and our big backyard, but we ask you to respect our community and this request to stay home for now. If we all work together to do the right thing during this public health crisis, we’ll all be able to enjoy the Bishop area in a responsible and respectful way sooner rather than later.


Para español, haga clic aquí – ANUNCIO DE SERVICIOS PÚBLICOS
Laura Smith, Mayor
City of Bishop
March 17, 2020

Today I have declared a local state of emergency for the City of Bishop, and we are announcing a major shift in our city’s operations as we continue to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis. The local emergency is now in effect.
Pursuant to State and Federal guidelines, we are taking action on behalf of the health and benefit of the public and residents in Bishop. The proclamation of a local emergency does not signify an increased risk to the residents of Bishop. A proclamation of a local emergency allows the city to provide or receive mutual aid from other jurisdictions and assists in securing available resources, mutual aid, funding, and staffing.

The City of Bishop is taking bold and proactive steps to protect the health and safety of our community. The proclamation should not be considered a reason for increased concern, rather an important step in our city’s mission to reduce the risk of exposure. I urge community members to stay informed, follow the directives of public health officials, stay home if you are sick, and continue practicing appropriate social distancing, hand washing and use of disinfectants.

Many city facilities are closed effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 until further notice. The closures are intended to help “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the outbreak.

Essential city services will continue as usual, including police, fire, water, wastewater, planning, inspection, and permitting services (planning and permitting by telephone, online and/or appointment only).

Starting Tuesday, March 17, many city programs and public meetings will be canceled until further notice. City Hall will be temporarily closed and the public is strongly encouraged to take care of any necessary city business by telephone, email, or through the city’s website at: The city telephone number is 760-873-5863. The city email address is

We need to take serious actions now to suppress any spread of COVID-19, and that is going to include limiting access to City Hall and temporarily closing public facilities. Beginning immediately, we are transitioning to online and telephone services as much as possible to ensure the safety of the public and our City employees.

The City also will be returning or crediting City program fees or other City fees for canceled activities and events at City facilities or at the schools.

The operational changes are as follows:

City Hall & Other City Facilities

  • City Hall will be closed to the public except by appointment. People are encouraged to contact City Hall by phone or email and the city will make reasonable resources available to conduct essential city business remotely.
  • Essential City services will continue, but in-person services at City Hall will be very limited until further notice.
  • City Hall will transition primarily to online services; residents and businesses are encouraged to use online public services as much as possible.
  • In addition to online services, the City will accommodate the lack of in-person services by staffing phone lines.

  • Parks buildings will be closed to the public until further notice:
  • All recreation programs, classes, permits and reservations are canceled until further notice.
  • All youth and adult sporting activities are suspended until further notice.
  • City Park and trails, including public restrooms, will remain accessible to the public and their maintenance and upkeep will continue subject to closure or modification if deemed necessary. Public restroom sanitizing has been increased to twice a day and will be increased further if appropriate.
City Services

  • All services ordinarily requiring in-person visits or public service counter assistance (including licensing and building permits) will be limited and made available via phone, online or through email. Building permits may be applied for online.
  • Building inspection services will continue. If you have building or development plans to deliver to the Building or Planning Departments, please do so by email or a drop box, or call to make an appointment.
  • The City encourages everyone to call 760-873-5866 ext. 2 for non-emergency police assistance and for general information and questions regarding filing police reports.
  • The Bishop Fire Department Headquarters, fire stations and training facility are closed to the public. Routine inquiries should be made by phone at 760-873-5485.All Public Works services will remain in place. Public Works emphasizes that, based upon the information made available to the City at this point, drinking water is not a known source of coronavirus, and residents can continue to drink water from their taps.  Again, routine inquiries to the Public Works and Building Department should be made by phone at 760-873-8458.
    • Prior issued burn permits will be extended thus reducing the need for in-person visits to the FD
Financial Support for Residents and Businesses

  • The City will be returning or giving future credit for City recreation program fees or other City fees that have been paid for canceled activities and events at City or school facilities.  All late fees will be suspended and due dates extended.
  • For additional questions, please call the City at 760-873-5863.
City Meetings

  • Next week’s Bishop City Council meeting on March 23 will take place and will be streamed live as always. The City Council will accept public comment by means of email at from the start of the scheduled meeting to the end of the scheduled meeting.
  • Commission meetings will be suspended until further notice.
  • The Council Chambers will be open to members of the public (with certain limitations imposed for social distancing guidelines) for comment with limited seating available, but public health and city officials encourage electronic public comments be submitted prior to or during the scheduled meeting. If you do attend the meeting, we will be adhering to social distance best practices in place at the time of the meeting.
  • The City is actively coordinating with all public and medical agencies regarding best practices in dealing with this issue. In collaboration with federal and state agencies, the Inyo County Department of Public Health is the lead agency managing response to local novel coronavirus testing, investigations, coordination with health providers, and public information. Learn more and stay informed at