Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday, May 14

(📸: 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 Wednesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 5,343 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
    • 95 people have been reported to have tested positive in the last 24 hours
  • 228 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.
    • 3 people have been reported dead in the last 24 hours.
  • There are currently 206 confirmed cases hospitalized.
    • 67 of those people in the ICU.
  • There have been 3,030 official recovered cases in the county.
  • The county has conducted 76,043 tests.
    • There have been 974 reported tests in the last 24 hours.

As of 4 pm Wednesday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 3,153 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 138 deaths in San Bernardino County, 18 of which were reported in the last 24 hours.

As of 10 pm Tuesday, there have been 73,413 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 2,974 confirmed deaths in the state.


 

When you read about the coronavirus pandemic, there are the large questions about science, health, inequality, the dark statistics, and the way regular life abruptly ended. When you read the stories about those who have died during the pandemic, the stories become — at the same time — more individualized and expansively larger. – Buzzfeed’s Katherine Miller reflects on what she has learned reading obituaries during the COVID-19 pandemic:


 

Rick Bright, a former top U.S. vaccine official, is testifying before Congress today about the need for a national response to the coronavirus pandemic. Bright said in prepared testimony that the United States faces the “darkest winter in modern history” — with “unprecedented illness and fatalities” if the government doesn’t do more to prepare before an expected resurgence later this year.

Scientists in the UK are calling for a study to see the effects that using mouthwash on the spread of COVID-19.  Previous studies had shown that mouthwashes, which contain low amounts of ethanol, povidone-iodine or cetylpyridinium could interfere with fatty membranes around other viruses.

During a Fox News segment on Wednesday, President Donald Trump suggested the United States could now lose over 100,000 lives to the coronavirus:

Cathedral City has joined other local cities in issuing mandatory mask orders. The move follows the move by the Riverside County Supervisors to rescind mask orders as they voted against the input of the county’s own health department. The Cathedral City council voted 4-1 to make masks required in public.  Exceptions to the requirement include when someone is inside a residence, in a car, walking, hiking or performing similar activities. The lone vote against the measure was from Councilman Ernesto Gutierrez.  “If I’m young and healthy and do not wish to wear a face mask, I should have the privilege to choose,” he said.

A reminder: Wearing a mask actually doesn’t just protect yourself, it does even more to protect others from you.

Everyone in Los Angeles must now wear a mask when outside of the home.  Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the facial covering rules on Wednesday. Prior to the new order, restrictions required coverings only in businesses and public transportation. Garcetti noted activities such as walking in a public park or hiking, even alone, could involve inadvertent encounters with other people.

“What are you afraid of? The virus?” the woman asked, sarcastically. “She was laughing at me like I was some sort of freak.” – The Press Enterprise reports on the rise of mask shaming.

The Riverside City council will meet tomorrow to discuss how and when to reopen Mount Rubidoux.  The park has been closed since March 27.  The Inland Empire has seen outdoor locations reopening, but some say social distancing would be impossible at the popular park.

The Temecula City Council voted unanimously to request the state’s guidelines on reopening be applied narrowly to the region of Temecula and Murrieta, on its own, rather than have the area included as part of Riverside County.  in a letter sent to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.  The council believes the area would be close to qualifying under state rules for accelerating reopening the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. The chance of the proposal happening seems to be small, as a spokesman for the Riverside University Health System-Public Health, told the Press Enterprise, “At this time our understanding of the governor’s framework does not provide a mechanism for dividing a county into regions.”

The New York Times has an interesting map showing where people are still staying at home in the US and where they are not.  While it appears residents of Riverside County are staying at home less than in other parts of California these days, it’s nowhere close to what things are like in Michigan.

Roughly 3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, raising the total number of Americans who have filed to 36.5 million:

No dates have been set yet, but local casinos told KESQ that when they reopen, they will have new measures in place including operating at 50% capacity, hourly cleaning of slot machines, and temperature checks at entrances.  One big change at Augustine Casino: Smoking will not be permitted.

The Palm Springs Farmers Market posted a GoFundMe to keep running through the summer.  It raised over $12,000 in seven days, surpassing its goal of $10,000.

Tito’s Vodka has given a $1 million grant to a Baylor University team researching a coronavirus vaccine.

Some parts of the Coachella Valley will see a flyover from a C-17 Globemaster III, a cargo aircraft, and a KC-135 Stratotanker, a refueling aircraft, this afternoon. The planes are scheduled to fly over San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning shortly after 1:30 pm and make their way to JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio (1:48 pm) and then Desert Regional Medical Center inPalm Springs (1:55 pm) before heading out to Moreno Valley.

Finally, while one Palm Desert bar has been getting a large amount of attention for calling for the lynching of politicians, just down the road, another is giving the Class of 2020 free cheeseburgers – and, if you haven’t had a cheeseburger from Skip’s Little Bar yet, you really should know: those cheeseburgers are really freakin’ good.

Hey 2020 graduates. Come get a free cheeseburger on us to celebrate all your hard work. Use promo code “2020” when you…

Posted by Little Bar on Thursday, May 14, 2020

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.

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

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.