Coachella Valley coronavirus update | News and info for Thursday, 3/26

(📸: Angela Marsteiner)

Cactus Hugs has been tracking local stories about the coronavirus.   For a rundown of all of our updates, click here.

  • As of 6 pm Wednesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed 107 people have tested positive for COVID-19. There have been 8 deaths in the county.
  • San Bernardino County has confirmed 54 cases of COVID-19.  There has been 2 deaths in San Bernardino County.
  • The number of cases in California has now surged past 3,000. Officials believe the growth rate is so big that it could soon overwhelm hospitals in weeks or even days.
  • There are a lot of test results still pending in California.
  • California nursing schools are warning state officials that about 10,000 nursing students are in jeopardy of not graduating at a time when the medical industry could desperately use them.
  • The Living Desert has laid off about 2/3s of its staff,  keeping some staff to care for the animals that live at the facility. As the Desert Sun reports, zoo officials said they couldn’t afford to keep a full staff without ticket sales and membership revenue.  The Living Desert had raised $27 million in an endowment fund by 2015, with a board member saying at the time, “I believe this is also the largest endowment in the Coachella Valley.” The Zoo’s CEO said back in 2015, “The fund ensures that there will be money to keep the zoo open during the hot summer months — when admission is down — and economic downturns.”
  • Cathedral City voted to temporarily halt the evictions of residential and commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • La Quinta has halted short-term rentals in the city. Those found in violation risk a $5,000 fine and their permit and license immediately suspended for one year.
  • Imperial Irrigation District announced it will not shut off power to customers due to non-payment during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Riverside County’s skydiving businesses have closed due to exposure risk from coronavirus.
  • A lawsuit has been filed against the city of Murrieta on behalf of local sex offender registrants who are required to register in person.  The would like to be allowed to register online or by phone during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has been especially tough on housekeepers and nannies, with many well-off people cancelling their services. “I’ll go crazy with despair,” a housekeeper said during an interview with the New York Times, just before another text arrived on her screen. “Oh my God, she canceled, too.”
  • KESQ looked at how the coronavirus is impacting local agriculture businesses.
  • Wondering what you might personally receive as part of the government’s stimulus bill?  The Washington Post has a calculator.
  • Congressman Raul Ruiz reminds what’s still open:

  • It’s very possible that Mookie Betts will never play a game for the Dodgers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Golden State Warrior basketball player Stephen Curry is hosting a Q&A Dr. Anthony Fauci on Instagram today at 10 am.  No, seriously.

  • Starbucks will be giving away free coffee to all first responders and frontline workers during the COVID-19 health crisis.

  • Choir students in Chino Hills recorded a version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while quarantining in their own homes.  It has been viewed over two million times across YouTube and Facebook:

Important information:

    • 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.