Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Friday evening, May 1

(?: Jamie Bergandi)

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 1 pm Friday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 4.079 people have tested positive for COVID-19.  48 people have tested positive in the last 24 hours.  
  • 157 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. There were 7 people reported dead in the last 24 hours.
  • There are currently 214 confirmed cases hospitalized, with 85 of them in the ICU.
  • There have been 1,693 official recovered cases in the county.
  • The county has conducted 51,228 tests.

As of 4 pm Friday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 2,113 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 94 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 2:40 pm Friday, there have been 51,775 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 2,111 confirmed deaths in the state.

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

Thursday saw the number of people who have reportedly recovered from COVID-19 around the world top one million:

Desert Regional Medical Center nurses plan to join a nationwide protest tonight from 5 – 7pm.  Their rally is set to take place in front of the hospital.  More than 95,000 nurses at 139 hospitals in 13 states are slated to take part in the action.

Hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announced that Orange County beaches would be ordered closed due to people gathering in crowds and not practicing social distancing, people gathered in crowds and did not practice social distancing to protest the move:

Orange County saw its highest total of confirmed reported coronavirus cases on Friday.  There were also five people reported dead:

Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted on Friday that restrictions in the state may be lifted sooner rather than later. “We’re getting very close to making very meaningful augmentations to that stay-at-home order,” he said during his daily news conference. “We said ‘weeks, not months’ about four or five days ago. I want to say ‘many days, not weeks.’ As long as we continue to be prudent and thoughtful in certain modifications, I think we’ll be making some announcements.”

As officials begin to look at lifting restrictions, many Americans are uneasy about doing most things other than go to work:

The City of Coachella has partnered with the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians, Borrego Health, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, and the County of Riverside to open a new location providing COVID-19 in the city. “The Eastern Coachella Valley has been hit hard by the coronavirus,”  Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez told KESQ. “These tests are an important step towards helping people in need, reducing the spread of COVID-19 and slowly moving to reopen businesses.”  Testing appointments are available Fridays and Saturdays 7 am – 1 am and can be setup by calling (833) 624-1097.

Cal State University’s Palm Desert campus nursing students assisted in testing with the help of Congressman (and doctor) Raul Ruiz:

Meanwhile, Erin Cruz, the Republican challenging Ruiz in the November election, tweeted this:

“Operation Warp Speed” the name given to the White House’s search for a vaccine for coronavirus has basically been given a blank check as the team of government officials, scientists and private companies aims to produce hundreds of millions of doses by early next year, if possible  “When the President was asked, ‘What do you want to put into it?’ He said, ‘No limit,'” an unnamed official said.

The White House is blocking Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the administration’s coronavirus task force, from testifying to congress next week, according to CNN.  “The Appropriations Committee sought Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week’s Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 response. We have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying.”

College of the Desert announced on Friday that all summer session and fall semester classes will be moved online and the campus will remain closed indefinitely in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings.  “The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and maintaining the quality of our teaching and learning programs are of utmost importance for the College, our Board of Trustees and our administrative team,” Superintendent/President Joel L. Kinnamon, Ed.D. said in a news release. “With an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the College’s service area, combined with the lack of a vaccine and the possibility of a second wave of infections, we felt this was the most prudent path.”

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Roadrunners, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and maintaining the integrity of our teaching and learning remain the top priority of College of the Desert. ____________________ Due to this and in keeping with the current health and safety restrictions, the College has announced that all summer session classes and all fall semester classes will be offered in remote learning/online environments. Please note that although the College campuses will remain closed for Summer and Fall 2020, student support services will continue to be conducted in similar remote service environments. ____________________ Registration for Summer and Fall begins on Monday, May 4, and we hope that by providing this information, you will feel better prepared as you select and register for classes. ____________________ For more information on this update, please check your MyCOD email account for a special message from our College President. ____________________ #CollegeoftheDesert #CODCOVID19 #CreateTomorrow

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To assist people struggling financially as a result of COVID-19, Sikh temple Gurdwara Sahib and Chandi Group USA will provide more than 2,000 free meals tomorrow. The hot meals will be distributed at Bagdouma Park between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The event is open to all and food will be provided on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. To access the distribution site, people are asked to approach the park from Avenue 51 and then head south on Frederick Street.

Palm Desert has reopened its dog parks:

The Palm Springs Air Museum held the first of their Friday Flyovers, which are planned to take place throughout May. Today’s flyovers took place over Palm Springs City Hall, Desert Regional Medical Center, the Agua Caliente Band of Mission Indians tribal offices, Desert Water Agency, and Cathedral City’s city hall:

That’s all for this evening. 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.