Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Tuesday, April 21

(📸: Stephanie Collett-Bianco)

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, and thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.

As of 1 pm Monday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 2,847 people have tested positive for COVID-19.    
  • 85 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.  
  • There are currently 236 confirmed cases hospitalized, with 73 of them in the ICU.
  • There have been 700 official recovered cases in the county.

As of 2 pm Monday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 1,406 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 60 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 11:50 pm Monday, there have been 33,865 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 1,227 confirmed deaths in the state.

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

The Palm Springs City Council will consider a resolution to declare a fiscal emergency at its council meeting on Thursday. If the resolution is passed, it would provide council expanded power to slash costs during the pandemic.

Golf courses around the Coachella Valley and Riverside are reopening today with strict social distancing guidelines being asked to be followed.  However, courses will not reopen in the city of Palm Springs, which has its own public health order that includes shutting all golf courses.

While private golf courses in La Quinta will reopen Tuesday, SilverRock will remain closed until Thursday, when it will reopen only for those with city resident cards for the next two weeks. Residents are allowed to bring a local guest.

“Yeah, there is that possibility because we know that the virus is still going to be around, not just here in the Coachella Valley but throughout the whole country,” Rep. Raul Ruiz told KESQ of the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals now scheduled for October. “We also know that if those concerts continue, and that we ease the traveling restrictions and stay-at-home precautions, then you will see tens of thousands of people coming to the Coachella Valley, which is already a very vulnerable area.”

The Desert X Board announced Tuesday that it has established an emergency relief fund to support visual artists living in Southern California. The initiative, funded by the Desert X Board and team will provide emergency grants to artists whose economic well-being has been affected by lockdown, exhibition and museum closures, and loss of commissions and employment as a result of global efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.  One-time unrestricted cash grants of $1,000 will be distributed on a rolling basis until all monies have been awarded. You can get more info here.

The organizer of an anti-stay-at-home rally this weekend in Palm Springs told KESQ, “It’s really a rally, not a protest.  We’re not protesting any particular agenda or ideology or anything like that. We want to help our small businesses.”  He says he wants most businesses to reopen on May 1.  “I am not saying we open everything right away or that we should have mass concerts, festivals right away, but I think these small business can handle the traffic that will go in and out of them.”

The Mayor of Palm Desert appeared on KESQ in an interview in which she was asked to defend comparing coronavirus to car crashes in a recent blog post calling for an end to the state’s stay-at-home orders.  She responded that “it was just one example.  We could point to heart disease, cancers, and other diseases that are in the thousands and thousands.  We can even point to the flu that on average kills 50 or 60 thousand a year and we don’t shut down our $22 trillion economy. And I ask why we don’t do that, if that’s going to be the standard.  All lives matter.”

Tuesday morning, a group of nurses protested at the White House, asking for Personal Protective Equipment.  During the protest, they read the names of healthcare workers who have given their lives trying to save others from the coronavirus:

On Monday night, Donald Trump tweeted that he will suspend immigration to the US due to the “invisible enemy” and “protecting jobs.” No details were provided about how or why it would be needed if businesses are safe to reopen on May 1, as he has suggested. As the Washington Post notes, the border is already effectively closed as the State Department canceled most routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments in March and The State Department stopped all processing for refugee resettlement. A Week later, authorities resumed processing H-2A visas for seasonal guest workers. In addition, the country’s agricultural laborers have been officially declared “essential workers,” including hundreds of thousands of people who enter the country under that temporary visa:

 

Congress and the White House are still negotiating after the initial round of funding that was supposed to go to small business quickly ran out of money.  How did the small business fund go through $349 billion so quickly?  As AP notes, at least 75 companies on the stock exchange, each worth over $100 million, received $300 million in the fund.  And 25% of the companies had warned investors months ago — while the economy was humming along — that their ability to remain viable was in question:

Younger people in the United States have been losing their jobs and incomes in much higher numbers than those over 45:

The national spelling bee has been cancelled:

Finally, it looks like a very good police officer is ready to go to work:

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.