Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Tuesday, May 19

(📸: 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 3 pm Monday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 5,952 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
    • 334 people have been reported to have tested positive since the last reporting on Friday.
  • 261 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.
    • 19 people have been reported dead since the last reporting on Friday.
  • There are currently 186 confirmed cases hospitalized.
    • 68 of those people in the ICU.
  • There have been 3,833 official recovered cases in the county.
  • The county has conducted 85,304 tests.
    • There have been 4,367 reported tests in the last 24 hours.

Confirmed cases / deaths by community (as of Monday):

  • Anza: 6 cases, 0 deaths
  • Banning: 74 cases, 1 death
  • Beaumont: 183 cases, 11 deaths
  • Bermuda Dunes: 6 cases, 0 deaths
  • Cabazon: 3 cases, 1 death
  • Cathedral City: 124 cases, 1 death
  • Coachella: 204 cases, 3 deaths
  • Desert Edge: 3 cases, 0 deaths
  • Desert Hot Springs: 62 cases, 0 deaths
  • Desert Palms: 8 cases, 0 deaths
  • Idyllwild-Pine Cove: 5 cases, 0 deaths
  • Indian Wells: 13 cases, 0 deaths
  • Indio: 214 cases, 5 deaths
  • La Quinta: 95 cases, 9 deaths
  • Mecca: 42 cases, 3 deaths
  • North Shore: 14 cases, 0 deaths
  • Oasis: 32 cases, 0 deaths
  • Palm Desert: 141 cases, 14 deaths
  • Palm Springs: 120 cases, 9 deaths
  • Rancho Mirage: 32 cases, 3 deaths
  • Thermal: 16 cases, 0 deaths
  • Thousand Palms: 12 cases, 0 deaths

As of 3 pm Monday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 3,593 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 155 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 10 pm Monday, there have been 81,827 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 3,287 confirmed deaths in the state.

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

Experiments by a team in Hong Kong found that the coronavirus’ transmission rate via respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75% when surgical masks were used. “The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” said the doctor who led the research.

Riverside County health officials have added a walk-in testing site in Cathedral City.  Tests will be conducted at the Cathedral City Public Library Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. “As we continue our response to this epidemic, we have refocused our efforts to test as many Riverside County residents as possible,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside County public health in a press release. “These two sites and others that are in the planning process will help reach that goal.” To make an appointment at the site, you can call 800-945-6171.

The Palm Springs Power baseball team was supposed to start their season at the end of this month.  That’s clearly not happening, but the team is still hoping to play this year, if the state allows it. “The Palm Springs Power wants to operate, is willing to operate and is ready to operate as soon as we get the okay to play,” the owner of the team told the Desert Sun.

Pier 1 is closing all of their stores. “Ultimately, due to the combination of a challenging retail environment and the new reality and uncertainty of a post-Covid world, the company and its advisers determined that an orderly wind-down is the best way to maximize the value of Pier 1’s assets,” the company said in a press release.

Magic Johnson announced on Monday that EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., of which he owns a majority, is providing $100 million to fund federal loans for minority and women business owners who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Viejas Casino east of San Diego became the first area casino to reopen yesterday.  The Associated Press reports that the property, which screened those entering by taking their temperature and required masks to be worn, turned every other slot machine off, but the large amount of customers that showed up meant many customers were still playing less than six feet apart. Card dealers worked with up to three players at a table, but there were no barriers separating them, which meant many sat near each other.  Those entering the casino had their foreheads scanned for temperature. One woman who got in line at 7:30 am at the casino said she was there because, “it’s all about freedom.”

The pandemic has brought about LA’s first liquor store on wheels.  L.A. Taco profiles Sara’s Market, which takes orders online for everything from tomatoes to chorizo to coffee, plus a nice selection of beer and wine.  The owners said they checked in with the Alcoholic Beverage Control to make sure selling booze out of a food truck was okay ad it turns out that the same coronavirus-based flexibility that is allowing restaurants to sell to-go cocktails and alcohol for the first time also can be applied to them.

Finally, Riverside County residents can now obtain marriage licenses and get married in civil wedding ceremonies online In-person ceremonies and license applications have been shut down since March.  The county announced they would be brought back earlier this month and began performing ceremonies yesterday. “Demand for marriage services have remained high throughout this crisis. However, traditional models of delivering public service impaired our ability to provide these services safely,” Assessor/County Clerk/Recorder Peter Aldana said in a news release.  At least one of those getting married must be a Riverside County resident. You can get more info here.

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.