Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Wednesday, April 15

(📸: Sergio Calderon)

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 Tuesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed 1,961 people have tested positive for COVID-19.  The 200 additional cases  from Monday to Tuesday are the largest single-day increase since tracking began.  There have been 50 confirmed deaths in the county.

As of 8 am Tuesday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 977 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 31 deaths in San Bernardino County. **San Bernardino County is delayed in reporting their numbers due to technical issues**

As of 10 pm Tuesday, there have been 25,777 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 788 confirmed deaths in the state.

There have now been 2 million cases of COVID-19 around the world:

While grocery store workers continue to work, and risking their health and their lives in doing so, a new study shows that if they were to fall ill to coronavirus, most wouldn’t have enough paid time off to quarantine The numbers are “pretty pathetic,” said Kristin Harknett, a sociology professor at UC San Francisco and co-author of the research.

Hospitals are seeing emergency room visits drop by as much as 50%.  Officials believe the main reasons for the decrease are due to strict public adherence to the government’s stay-at-home directive and fear of potentially contracting the coronavirus.  The decrease in hospital admissions plus California’s ban on elective surgeries have led affiliated physicians and staff at many hospitals to be laid off, furloughed or receive pay cuts.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump announced that the United States would cut funding to the World Health Organization during a pandemic.  Bill Gates called the move “dangerous.”:

U.S. retail sales plummeted 8.7% in March.  To put that in perspective,  the previous record decline was 3.9% during the depths of the Great Recession in November 2008.

Millions of Americans saw the federal government deposit money in their account overnight, part of the stimulus package passed by congress.  Those who are waiting on a check from the government are going to have to wait a bit longer as the printing of checks were put on hold in order to add a Donald Trump’s name to the memo line:

No, you do not have to pay back your stimulus check money.

In an extensive interview with Vanity Fair, Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed everything from handshakes to Tinder to the bizarre 5G conspiracy theories circulating these days.  He also was asked the possibility of having huge festivals like Coachella during the pandemic. “Well, if there’s virus in the community, it makes me really, really nervous,” Fauci said. “Really nervous because outbreaks and clusters have been the things that have fueled outbreaks in different cities throughout the world. One of the real tragic things was that in Wuhan, the city in which this virus emerged, at a time when it was clear that there was viral transmission in the community, the Chinese held a 40,000-person massive block party celebrating some Chinese festival. That just exploded it. And New Orleans had the Mardi Gras. Look what happened after the Mardi Gras. So, I mean, the direct answer to your question is that it would make me really nervous if there was virus still circulating.”

Governor Newsom also warned Californians not to expect large gatherings like concerts or sporting events anytime soon. “Large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of strangers altogether across every conceivable difference, health and otherwise, is not in the cards based upon our current guidelines and current expectations,” he said on Tuesday.

Californians, and the country as a whole, are really not being given much information about the coronavirus by the government.

Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes addressed the city’s order to wear masks at essential businesses on Tuesday night.  Reyes said officers were visiting stores to update them on the police and that no citations have been issued. He also said residents can report coronavirus violations of nonessential businesses or large gatherings  to a hotline (760-323-8159), but stressed that the hotline is not to report on your neighbor. “This is not a line to notify us in regards to a person walking down the street without a mask on,” Reyes said.

Riverside County officials told the Desert Sun that the measures put in place by Mathis Brothers to reopen their Indio store – including taking customer temperatures and putting covers on furniture before a customer sits on it – aren’t enough to keep the store operational. “They’re allowed to do business online, and they can deliver furniture, but they cannot have customers in the building,” Jose Arballo, senior information specialist for Riverside County’s public health office said.  The county was examining enforcement options.

Rancho Mirage had its weird election yesterday.  With about half of the ballots counted, incumbents Ted Weill (3,690) and Richard W. Kite (3,214) lead for the two seats up for election.  Maggie Lockridge (1,885) and Stephen Jaffe (1,509 votes) trail.  The next update on vote totals is expected tomorrow.

The expiration date of some California driver’s licenses have been extended.

The Mary Pickford Theater will sell you some movie theater popcorn to enjoy while watching a movie at home this weekend:

Thinking about grabbing some takeout?

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.