Home News Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Wednesday, May 13

Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Wednesday, May 13

Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Wednesday, May 13
(📸: Bob Rivera)

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 Tuesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 5,248 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
    • 59 people have been reported to have tested positive in the last 24 hours
  • 225 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.
    • 8 people have been reported dead in the last 24 hours.
  • There are currently 185 confirmed cases hospitalized.
    • 69 of those people in the ICU.
  • There have been 2,911 official recovered cases in the county.
  • The county has conducted 75,069 tests.
    • There have been 1,920 reported tests in the last 24 hours.

As of 4 pm Tuesday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 3,078 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 120 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 10 pm Tuesday, there have been 71,046 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 2,882 confirmed deaths in the state.

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


Facebook groups composed of survivors of COVID-19 have seen those who have recovered complain of anxiety, heart palpitations, muscle aches, and bluish toes. The accounts help fuel doctors’ increasing belief that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease.  “We’re just people who have more questions than anybody else about this thing because we’re going through it,” a 43-year-old woman who has been suffering from insomnia and fatigue told AP.

Speaking of Facebook, you have surely noticed some posts with some wild claims regarding COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and patents lately.  PolitiFact took some time to separate truth from fiction.

The Director of the National Institute of Mental Health warns that front-line health-care workers “are at tremendous risk” of developing mental health problems because of their service amid the pandemic.  “They’re working long hours and don’t have a lot of time to build themselves back up before they have to go on their next shift,” he said in an interview on C-SPAN. “So we know from previous disasters and epidemics that they are at high risk.”

A Palm Desert gym has reopened, defying the state’s health orders. The gym’s owner told KESQ that he believes the coronavirus is not as serious of a threat to himself and his gym members as he’s being told. and that the facility is “cleaned weekly.”  The city of Palm Desert responded to a complaint, but issued a statement saying, in part, “In this case, the owner was unwilling to talk to our staff and we subsequently contacted the State to report the violation of its order.”

San Bernardino County’s public health director will resign at the end of the month. Trudy Raymundo informed the county of her decision on May 1. “We’ve built a team of great people at public health who have accomplished many great things for the people of this county and who continue to protect our community with skill, passion and love,” Raymundo said in a statement. “It’s time for me to take a break and see what else is out there because I know this team will continue to thrive, serve and achieve.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom released guidelines for the reopening of dine-in restaurants on Monday. The items included things like social distancing, masks for workers, disposable menus, and recommends screening guests at the door for symptoms.  Bars and wineries would have to remain closed, unless they serve food. Meanwhile, a new poll shows only 35% of Californians would feel comfortable going out to dinner now.

Another poll this week asked Americans when they believe it will be safe to gather in groups of 10 or more.  About 2 in 3 believe it won’t be until July or later. 1 in 5 people believe it is safe to do so now, or by the end of May.

Over 3,000 meals will be served today on a 1st come, 1st served basis at Miles Ave. Park in Indio.  In addition, 5,000 surgical face masks will be available.  The event, organized by Chandi Group USA  and Sikh Temple Gurdwara Sahib Indio will begin at 11 am.  The public may access the food giveaway at Miles Avenue Park by turning north onto Arabia Street only from Miles Avenue, either east or westbound. Cars will exit onto Leroy Way.

The California State University will go almost completely online for classes at its 23 campuses this fall.  How would that affect student athletes?  No one seems to know yet.  A joint statement from the Mountain West commissioner and presidents of Fresno State, San Diego State, and said, “Certainly, all conversations are led by academics, as well as public health and safety. Within that framework, more determinations are necessary. All three institutions will work closely with the Mountain West. No decisions on athletics have been made.”

The California League of Cities estimates estimates cities around the state of California will collectively lose $7 billion over the next two years due to the pandemic.  The LA Times reports on how Santa Monica, a city that (like many cities in the Coachella Valley) depends greatly on hotel tax and sales tax revenues, has already been effected.  In the last month, the city manager has announced he is resigning and there are now plans to lay off or buy out 373 employees.  “It is one of those moments that is going to force us to rethink. Shame on us if we don’t use this as an opportunity,” the outgoing city manager told the Times. “If it’s solely a tragedy — and the only thing that comes of this is libraries and fire stations being closed and public employees being laid off — then we will have compounded the health tragedy with a tragic failure of imagination and political will.”

At the beginning of the stay-at-home orders, when coronavirus began to spread, grocery store workers and other service employees were deemed essential and their companies even gave them “hero bonuses” and “appreciation pay.”  Stores are now ending those bonuses – even as the virus continues to spread. Starbucks $3 raises end at the end of May, as will Target’s $2 hourly raise. Kroger-owned grocery chains, which includes Ralphs and Food 4 Less,  will stop paying an extra $2 per hour Sunday.

Today is the last day to submit for direct deposit for the coronavirus stimulus checks.  For those who have not yet received the payment, bank information for direct deposit can be submitted here. After today, the government will begin sending millions of paper checks that will arrive later this month and in June.

A controversial (and mysterious) message scrawled on the side of the Red Barn in Palm Desert likely won’t be going away anytime soon.  “While we recognize that people might find the sign offensive, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its protections of free speech mean that the City is unable to regulate this type of political expression,” David Hermann, public information officer for Palm Desert, told KESQ.  It’s seems like a big shift for Palm Desert, a city that only recently allowed balloons to be placed in front of stores on El Paseo, but is certainly good news for any business who has been thinking about painting a mural on their building or quickly throwing up giant signs of their own.

Finally, if you need a smile, watch this adorable little chef make a pizza:

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.