Home News Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday, April 30

Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday, April 30

Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday, April 30
(📸: 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 1 pm Wednesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 3,942 people have tested positive for COVID-19.  207 people have tested positive in the last 24 hours.  
  • 143 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. There were two people reported dead in the last 24 hours.
  • There are currently 215 confirmed cases hospitalized, with 78 of them in the ICU.
  • There have been 1,346 official recovered cases in the county.

As of 4 pm Wednesday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 1,928 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 89 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 12:06 am Thursday, there have been 48,828 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 1,954 confirmed deaths in the state.

The LA Times looked at total deaths across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The data shows that the number of deaths are more than 9% higher than historical averages,  suggesting the toll could be hundreds or even thousands of deaths more than what’s been attributed to the disease thus far.  The new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show roughly 4,500 additional deaths from all causes have occurred in 2020 over what would be expected from historical averages.

The numbers are increasing everyday.  They are not just numbers.  They are people.  The individual stories are heartbreaking:


The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has released the names of two men who died in custody after testing positive for coronavirus. Edward Thomas Clark, 69, died Sunday at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning. He was arrested Aug. 11, 2018, on suspicion of burglary and arson, and was in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.  Salvador Jesus Garcia, 57, died on Tuesday.  He had been booked on March 27 into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Facility in Murietta on suspicion of domestic violence.

After initially hitting the western part of the Coachella Valley, the coronavirus has since seen the greatest number of cases in the eastern part of the desert. As of Thursday, Indio had 138 reported cases and Coachella 123 confirmed cases. “We are all very sad and scared,” a Coachella resident told KMIR.

As communities in the east Coachella Valley continue to see the highest rate of infection, Congressman Raul Ruiz is calling for an immediate, targeted community outreach project that specifically addresses those most at risk and who may not be able to get to the drive-thru testing centers. “If there is a focused effort to pilot a project to test all households in Mecca for coronavirus and to do antibody testing than we can make safeguards in this contained community to start putting people back to work,” Ruiz told the Desert Sun.

A new testing site will open this weekend in Coachella beginning this weekend. The test site will be located at 85365 Dillon Road in Coachella, near Spotlight 29 Casino. Appointments are available on Friday and Saturday.  To schedule an appointment, call (833) 624-1097.

“This sickness is so bad, that when your loved ones are crying on the other end, you cannot even wipe their tears and if they are dying, you cannot even hold their hand or comfort them” – a local jewelry owner shared with KESQ what it was like while he and his wife battled and survived coronavirus.

Teachers unions in California are fighting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s suggestion that schools open as early as July. “It’s insane. It’s not safe to go back in July,” a Fresno Teachers Association rep told Politico. “Can you imagine being with 40 kids in a room that’s 20 [feet] by 20 [feet]? As a teacher, you’re going to get it.”

After scolding beachgoers who crowded beaches over the weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom informed police chiefs late Wednesday that he will close all beaches and state parks starting Friday. Until now, local officials have been making their own rules.

An Orange County Supervisor called the move “an overreaction” and releasing photos that they say show the beaches were not actually crowded:

After Vice President received criticism for touring the Mayo Clinic without a mask this week, his wife Karen said Thursday that he was totally unaware of the mask policy at the facility. Mike Pence is the head of the coronavirus task force.

Some have pointed to Sweden’s decision to not institute a lockdown and, instead, trust its citizens to follow protocols as an example of what the United States should be doing instead of government officials mandating stay-at-home orders.  Thursday, President Trump tweeted that he disagrees with that policy:

“None of us know when we’re coming back” – the Desert Sun catches up with the emcee of the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens.

The LeBron James Family Foundation will air an hourlong special on May 16 honoring high school graduates who have had to postpone celebrations for the COVID-19 crisis. The event see offer commencement speeches and vignettes and feature appearances by James, the Jonas Brothers, U.S. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai among other.  It will be broadcast on NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX and streamed online.

Apple has released beta iPhone software that makes it easier to unlock your iPhone without using Face ID and while wearing a mask.  Instead of lifting your mask to unlock with face recognition or waiting through the delay for for the phone to present the passcode option instead, the new iOS will allow you to swipe up if you’re wearing a mask, and you’ll skip the Face ID display and enter in a code instead.


While Disneyland’s reopening is still nowhere in sight, officials in Florida have announced guidelines for the eventual reopening of Walt Disney World Resort. The first phase of the eventual reopening would include the Orlando resort operating at 50% capacity and temperature checks and face masks would be required for cast members. Guests would be required to maintain six feet of space between one another while waiting in line and sanitizer will also be provided throughout the park.  While guidelines have been announced, there is no opening date set for the Florida theme park.

Of course, you always have the option of just recreating Disney rides at home:


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

Thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.

Important information:

Congressman Raul Ruiz has posted a list of local resources and information.

The Washington Post offers plenty of ways that you can help during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you see someone price gouging, there is now a number for that.

The New York Times has an interactive map where you can track every coronavirus case in the United States.

The Washington Post is out with a guide to what you should know about the coronavirus.

Here is a memo by the Department of Homeland security identifying critical infrastructure workers.

The United Way of the Desert has assembled a nice list of information and resources available during the coronavirus here.

These are scary and anxious times.  Be safe and kind to each other out there and, please, remember to wash your hands.

Anything we missed? Let us know about it.