Coachella Valley coronavirus update | News and info for Thursday evening, 3/19

(Instagram / @bng_king)

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.

Note 3/19: There is sooooo much going on and there’s no way I can keep up with all of it.  If you have something newsworthy (info or pics), please send it my way.  Not everything sent will be used, but all of your help is very much appreciated. Stay safe.

Update: Governor Newsom has declared a “stay at home” order for the entire state.  Details are here.

  • In a letter to Donald Trump, Gavin Newsom requested the immediate deployment of the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the Port of Los Angeles.  He also offered a dire prediction for the state’s population.  “In some parts of our state, our case rate is doubling every four days,” he wrote. “We project that roughly 56 percent of our population — 25.5 million people — will be infected with the virus over an eight week period.”
  • While doctors like Congressman Raul Ruiz and Riverside County public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser have called called for a Coachella Valley-wide shelter in place to slow the spread of coronavirus on the desert, getting all nine cities on the same page has been a challenge.  The Desert Sun reported on meetings that took place on Thursday with city officials.  During the meeting, La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans, noted that she is against the move, saying “there will be violators out there” and  “you can’t legislate good behavior.”  Indio’s Mayor, Glen Miller also chimed in. “As of now, we feel very comfortable with what we’re doing and feel when we get past this, we will change direction as per the direction of he county,” he said.
  • Here’s how to contact your city officials:
  • Vox has created an easy to understand chart showing how coronavirus is so much worse than the flu.
  • The Washington Post analyzes what the next 12 – 18 months could look like in the United States based on models and, be warned, it’s not pretty.
  • A reminder, a drive-up testing site is up and running at Southwest Community Church.  Those who have symptoms should call 800-945-6171 to schedule an appointment. Drive-ups without appointments will not be seen. The site is only scheduled to be open through tomorrow, but that might be extended if needed.
Tents have been setup in the parking lot of Southwest Church in Indian Wells as part of a drive-up coronavirus testing program.
  • Some food distribution warehouses are running at 200% to 500% of their average capacity this time of year, with demand being compared to the weekend before Thanksgiving.  The good news is, according to NPR, empty store shelves aren’t permanent.
  • A coronavirus patient arrived at LAX and is being transported in an isolation chamber:

  • Big Bear is asking anyone who is not a resident or property owner in Big Bear to postpone immediate visits to Big Bear for the time being.
  • The May edition of the Joshua Tree Music Festival will not take place, but organizers have asked that you “mark your calendars” for the fall edition, scheduled for October 8 – 11:

  • The Rancho Mirage City Council has set aside $400,000 to help keep restaurants open. Officials hope that a payment of $5,000 to $8,000 per restaurant will be an incentive to them staying open with take-out or delivery.
  • Rancho Mirage is still holding an election on April 14.  City Hall Lobby will be open 8 am – 5 pm weekdays, allowing voters to drop off their  ballots. The city sent out ballots with pre-paid postage envelopes, so they highly recommend ballots are returned by mail.
  • Costco has begun to limit the number of shoppers inside of its stores and have asked employees to practice social distancing.
  • Following its closure, Pechanga casino donated about $100,000 worth of food in its storehouse to the needy in the area:

  • Spotlight 29 Casino remains open.
  • Disneyland is expected to pay its 31,000 employees about $59 million during the park’s shutdown.
  • Here’s a guide to take-out, curbside, and delivery specials being offered by Coachella Valley restaurants.

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.

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