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

Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday evening, April 30

Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday evening, April 30
(📸: Laura Vasquez)

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 Thursday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 4.031 people have tested positive for COVID-19.  89 people have tested positive in the last 24 hours.  
  • 149 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. There were 6 people reported dead in the last 24 hours.
  • There are currently 212 confirmed cases hospitalized, with 78 of them in the ICU.
  • There have been 1,483 official recovered cases in the county.
  • The county has conducted 50,305 tests.

As of 4 pm Thursday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 2,058 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 93 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 1:32 pm Thursday, there have been 49,840 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 2,014 confirmed deaths in the state.

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


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease specialist, confirmed the Trump administration is working to develop a coronavirus vaccine and aiming to produce hundreds of millions of doses by January.  The effort is being called “Operation Warp Speed.”

COVID-10 is likely to keep spreading for at least another 18 months to two years, according to a team of experts predicted on Tuesday.  They believe the virus will eventually infect 60% to 70% of the country’s population. They recommended that the US prepare for a worst-case scenario that includes a second big wave of coronavirus infections in the fall and winter.

Gov. Gavin Newsom directed the temporary “hard close” of  beaches in Orange County. The move follows images of crowded beaches with many not practicing social distancing in Southern California over the weekend. “Specific issues on some of those beaches have raised alarm bells,” Newsom said. “People that are congregating there, that weren’t practicing physical distancing, that may go back to their community outside of Orange County and may not even know that they contracted the disease and now they put other people at risk, put our hospital system at risk.”  The governor said the beaches may reopen soon, if the situation improves:

There was an immediate pushback against the governor’s action, including from the Republican candidate for congress in the Coachella Valley – who used the hashtag #thugboy in a tweet addressed to Newsom:

It’s now been nearly seven weeks of the shutdown, so why are sp many are people still getting sick?  The Washington Post interviewed doctors and public health officials and looked at data that has been made public, and it seems to point to the coronavirus infecting those who have limited ability to socially distance.  “I had two people that work in a grocery store, one person that works in a day care and another person that works in housekeeping,” a DC doctor told the Post. “They are afraid of losing their jobs.  They are anxious their employers won’t respect the quarantine, or that two weeks seems too long, and they don’t always have the savings to get by.”

The Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce is calling for the county to set up a task force to reopen businesses in the valley and county. In a letter to Supervisor Manny Perez, chamber CEO Josh Bonner stated the task force and its subcommittees should be comprised solely of business people who would then provide their recommendations to health officials. “Dr. Kaiser and the medical community are experts on contagions, and we respect their guidance and input. But when it comes to how a plate of food moves from the kitchen to a banquet table, our business community that directly engages in that activity has expertise and needs a voice,” Bonner wrote.

3.7 million have filed for unemployment in California in seven weeks.  Currently, one of every five California workers has lost a job. “This is a shocking number and it is reminiscent of the Great Depression, but we really don’t want to make those kinds of comparisons because the Depression lasted for many years,” an economist told the Press Enterprise.

Riverside County home buying rose 8.5% in March – with 3,640 homes sold in the month.  Presumably, most of those sales were before or in process when the stay-at-home orders began in the county and, when the numbers come in, April will likely be a very different story.

Courtrooms in the county will be closed until at least May 15.

Riverside County is currently offering several free food options to disabled and vulnerable adults as stay-at-home orders continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We have a number of programs, depending on our callers’ needs and nutritional risk. We will tailor enrollment to any one or more of these important nutrition programs,”  Gary Robbins, Deputy Director for Programs and Operations with Office on Aging said in a news release. “We’re averaging almost 1,200 calls a day at this point, and our requests for food have tripled. I’d encourage folks who want to find out more to visit the Office on Aging website or send us an email.” Seniors or disabled adults can call 800-510-2020 or visit rcAging.org.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department delivered masks to those who desperately needed them:

Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the coronavirus task force, also found a mask:

Whole Foods has announced they will begin offering free, disposable masks to all customers when they come to shop at one of their stores around the country within the next week.

Starbucks plans to reopen many of its company-owned locations with modifications starting Monday amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The locations will be offering pick-up only and curbside orders.  The company plans to have 90% of its locations reopened by early June.

NASCAR is also coming back (without fans in attendance) and announced a ton of races in scheduled in a very short timespan:

Disney is now selling cloth masks. Items included Mickey, Monsters Inc., and, of course, Baby Yoda.  The company has announced they are donating one million of the masks for children and families in underserved and vulnerable communities across the U.S. and will also donate all profits from the sales in the U.S. of cloth face masks to Medshare, up to $1 million, now through September 30, 2020.  You can get yours here.

The Palm Springs ShortFest film festival will take place virtually in June:

KESQ learned Leigh and Luz are working remotely, but can be reached by email:

Finally, speaking of TV news, a very good boy helped a Tampa Bay weatherman who was delivering his forecast at home:

That’s all for this evening. 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.