Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Monday, May 18

(📸: Sharon Calcagno)

Cactus Hugs has been tracking local stories about the coronavirus.   For a rundown of all of our updates, click here. Stay safe, stay at a good social distance.

Thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs. For ways to keep this website going (and free!), click here.

As of 4 pm Friday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 5,618 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
    • 178 people have been reported to have tested positive in the last 24 hours
  • 242 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.
    • 7 people have been reported dead in the last 24 hours.
  • There are currently 184 confirmed cases hospitalized.
    • 68 of those people in the ICU.
  • There have been 3,430 official recovered cases in the county.
  • The county has conducted 80,937 tests.
    • There have been 1,998 reported tests in the last 24 hours.

Riverside County will not be releasing updates again until this afternoon:

As of 3 pm Sunday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 3,511 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 155 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 10 pm Sunday, there have been 80,165 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 3,240 confirmed deaths in the state.


 

The numbers increase everyday.  They are more than just numbers.  They are people we have lost:


Moderna announced promising early results from its first human safety tests of a coronavirus vaccine. The company reported that in eight patients who had been followed for a month and a half, the vaccine at low and medium doses triggered blood levels of virus-fighting antibodies that were similar or greater than those found in patients who recovered. The findings suggest, but don’t prove, that it triggers some level of immunity.  The company plans to launch a large clinical trial in July aimed at showing whether the vaccine works.

Tow months ago, California moved to close things down, while New York didn’t.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the idea of stay-at-home orders “dangerous,” suggested they served only to scare people, and that “‘shelter-in-place’ sounded like it was a response to a nuclear apocalypse.” Propublica reports on the response to the pandemic on both coasts, which resulted in New York suffering 10 times more deaths than California.

A Victorville woman was the first patient at her local hospital to test positive for the coronavirus and one of the first to be released. She thought she was in the clear, she told her doctor she was feeling great, then she tested positive a second time.

Latinos comprise 40% percent of the population of California, but they make up 53% of confirmed coronavirus cases – as for many, their jobs are deemed essential and staying at home is not an option.  “They’re trying to do their part to get us out of this crisis,” a workers rights advocate told the LA Times. “Yet we can’t provide face masks. We can’t give them the space to give them 6 feet of separation between their co-workers.”

Videos are now being posted of people melting down over having to wear a mask at he grocery store. A 23-minute video out of Palos Verdes shows a woman complaining at a Trader Joe’s. “We are in America here,” she says, “land of the free.” Another video, which has been shared thousands of times, shows a very nice staff at a Gelson’s supermarket in Dana Point offering to assist a woman with her shopping and informing her of the store’s mandatory mask rules while she records and bitches and complains.  The “Karen” in the video, Shelley Lewis, has been advocating on social media against COVID-19 regulations:

 

Joshua Tree National Park has quietly reopened. Entrances to the park are staffed, but workers aren’t collecting entrance fees. Also open inside the park are parking lots, trails, family campsites, and most restroom facilities.

The General Patton Memorial Museum in Chiriaco Summit, just east of the Coachella Valley, announced over the weekend that its annual Memorial Day ceremony will not take place this year.

The Living Desert has announced some new policies once it is allowed to reopen. The zoo will be limiting guest admittance, offer a timed-ticketing system, and have one-way walking patterns throughout the park. Staff and volunteers will also undergo a daily wellness screening.

Instacart drivers are calling some of their customers out and asking them to stop “tip baiting” – when a customer adds a large tip to their order, only to reduce the tip or even eliminate it completely once they receive their items.

A doctor has a message about the government conducting flyovers to honor healthcare workers:

Finally, it’s a good time to be penguins.  After a recent group of penguins was treated to a tour of a Chicago aquarium, another group was given a tour of a Kansas City museum:

That’s all for this morning. Stay safe. Stay smart. Stay home.   

Thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.

These are stressful times for all of us. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and our desert community stronger. This link has some resources to help with coping and also numbers to call or text if you, or someone you know, feels overwhelmed.

Please, take care of yourself and each other. You are important. You are valued. You are loved. 💚🌵

Anything we missed? Let us know about it.