Coachella Valley coronavirus update | News and info for Saturday evening 3/21

Indio Hills (image by Jerrysaurus Rex)

Cactus Hugs has been tracking local stories about the coronavirus.  Some links might be behind that other website’s paywall…nothing we can do about that, sorry.  For a rundown of all of our updates, click here.

  • Confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide have passed 300,000 people.  In the United States, 20,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Riverside County health officials announced two new cases in Riverside County on Saturday, along with one additional death from COVID-19.  The total number of people dead in the county is now five:

  • Canadian snowbirds in the Coachella Valley are rushing to get home.
  • The Find Food Bank distributed food at First A.M.E. Church on Saturday.  According to KMIR, “typically they serve about 100 families once a month, but on Saturday they were able to serve over 400 families.”
  • Rick Herrick, The Mayor of Big Bear, has tested positive for COVID-19. He told the Grizzly that his symptoms have been mild and that he has been self-quarantined at home.  Herrick added, “If you feel the slightest onset of illness, stay at home and call your doctor’s office. Do not go to the local emergency room without calling ahead so they can evaluate your symptoms over the phone.”
  • A personal note, I worked for Herrick, as he gave a young punk a shot to do radio in his hometown over 20 years ago.  He was a mentor to me and I have a lot of respect for him. I wish him a speedy recovery.
  • The Governor went over what’s open and what’s closed:

  • The Indio Police Department has a message for students:

  • Riverside firefighters and police officials helped a 9-year-old celebrate his birthday after his party had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus:

  • Joshua Tree National Park has closed its roads and will not continue many of its programs.  The park is still open for cycling, hiking, and climbing.
  • The Desert Sun recommends five hikes in the Coachella Valley.
  • KABC went on an aerial tour of Los Angeles on Saturday.  Seeing beaches, freeways, and other landmarks is startling, while also encouraging that most are doing what they are supposed to be doing: staying at home.

  • But not everyone is staying at home and practicing social distancing…and it’s infuriating:

  • Pechanga Casino in Temecula expects to be closed past March, with layoffs also anticipated.
  • Voters in the 28th Senate District will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the May 12 special election. An order signed by California’s Governor also authorizes and encourages election officials to make in-person voting opportunities available on or before Election Day.  Voters in the election will choose between Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, and Democrat Elizabeth Romero.
  • Congressman Raul Ruiz tweeted a link to Lift to Rise’s webpage, which offers numerous resources and lots of information for residents:

  • His opponent, Erin Cruz,  tweeted this:

  • The Desert Sun explains how it is dealing during the time of coronavirus, doing things live having reporters working from home, lifting he paywall on coronavirus-related stories, and starting a Facebook Group.
  • Here are 8 tips for having a virtual hangout.
  • The Tennis Channel will re-air last year’s BNP Paribas finals on Sunday:

  • Speaking of the Indian Wells tournament, it has been less than two weeks since it was called off, even id that announcement feels like a world ago.

  • A website will tell you how much toilet paper you will need to survive the pandemic.
  • You may have noticed, Cactus Hugs has chosen not to post something like a scary virus as the featured image on these posts. Today we asked for your help by supplying photos of the Coachella Valley, people doing good, and anything else you think would be appropriate and, man, did you come through.  There will be many amazing pics coming in the future and we have kicked it off with a pretty stunning photo of Indio Hills submitted by Jerrysaurus Rex.  Thank you all for your help and support.
  • One reader shared this image of residents “practicing social distancing” at the Palm Springs Certified Farmer’s Market on Saturday:

  • Some very good dogs and cats find homes yesterday.  The Palm Springs Animal Shelter invites anyone looking for a quarantine companion to check out their social media channels:

  • Eurkea! Indian Wells is still open and has a pretty incredible takeout deal available:

  • Coachella Valley Brewing is the latest local brewery to offer home delivery:

  • Local dispensaries have been deemed “essential” and remain open.  Some are offering specials and free delivery:

View this post on Instagram

🚙 We’ve got you covered! Free door – to – door delivery through March 2020 🚙 . In accordance with the CDC , and the City of Palm Springs, we are fortunately able to keep our doors open as an essential business during this time. In addition to our in-store services and curbside pickup (Palm Springs ONLY), we are able to continue to offer delivery services to meet your needs 💕 We wanted to eliminate any confusion about our delivery capabilities – swipe 👉🏼for a comprehensive list of cities that we can deliver to📍Cities may vary depending on dispensary location! . #delivery #covid_19 #cannabiscommunity #coachella #dispensary #palmsprings #lighthouse #livebrighter #loveislighthouse

A post shared by LIGHTHOUSE (@shopthelighthouse) on

  • Here’s a guide to take-out, curbside, and delivery specials being offered by Coachella Valley restaurants.

Important 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 Washington Post is out with a guide to what you should know about the coronavirus.
      • Schools are closed, but free student meals are available.  Here is the information on meal programs during this time for each Coachella Valley school district.
      • 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.

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