Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday, April 23

(?: Oslec Cruz)

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.

As of 1 pm Wednesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 3,084 people have tested positive for COVID-19.    
  • 99 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.  
  • There are currently 250 confirmed cases hospitalized, with 81 of them in the ICU.
  • There have been 789 official recovered cases in the county.

As of 2 pm Wednesday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 1,578 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 72 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 2:45 pm Wednesday, there have been 37,707 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 1,438 confirmed deaths in the state.

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

“We’d been on the line together for almost 36 hours. What are the chances you would pass within an hour of our break? Maybe you didn’t want us to hear you go.” – Abby Adair Reinhard detailed the days and hours leading up to the death of her father, Donald Adair, as a result of COVID-19.

The LA Times reports on Patricia Dowd, a seemingly healthy 57-year-old who died at home of coronavirus in San Jose on February 6.  She had flu-like symptoms for a few days and thought she was recovering.  While working from home, at 8 am she corresponded with colleagues, two hours later she was found dead. Her cause of death was originally thought to be a heart attack, but this week it was learned it was actually coronavirius.  Like other newfound cases, Dowd had not traveled outside of the country, suggesting community transmission of COVID-19 in California sometime in January.

An employee of the SunLine Transit Agency has been diagnosed with coronavirus.  The employee worked as a paratransit operator, driving people with mobility issues.  According to the Desert Sun, they employee only worked one shift since April 10, and three passengers have been contacted to inform them of the situation.

More than 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Labor Department.  It’s the fifth-straight week that job losses were measured in the millions. Since March 15, data shows 26.5 million people have been laid off or furloughed.

Gov. Newsom said on Wednesday that he’s been bombarded with questions about when other sectors of the economy could reopen. “The pressure to answer that question is very real,” he said. The answer, he added, could come in “days, not weeks or months.  His comments came on a day when the state of California recorded the most deaths in a 24-hour-period: 118.

While there has been a lot of attention on the small anti-stay-at-home rallies across Southern California and the rest of country this week, a new poll shows that an overwhelming amount of Americans favor the stay-at-home measures put in place by officials during the COVID-19 pandemic:

A protest of about 50 nurses and other health care employees was held in front of Riverside Community Hospital on Wednesday.  Workers protested limitations and excessive rationing of personal protective equipment at the facility with signs with messages like “PPE saves lives” and “Please Protect Everyone.”

The LA Times reports from the Oasis Trailer Park in Thermal, where tap water is too dangerous to drink and farmworkers are losing their jobs during the pandemic. Esperanza Sanchez told the newspaper that her last paycheck — a little more than $100 for harvesting onions a month ago — won’t come close to covering her $575 rent, let alone supplies or groceries – so, in April, she skipped paying rent.  “How am I going to do it?” the 61-year-old asked through tears.

Three churches in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including one in Indio, asked a judge to let them resume in-person services. At a hearing on Wednesday, the judge ruled against it. “During the state of emergency the executive powers are in effect, in that they are empowered to provide for emergency remedies which may infringe on fundamental constitutional rights,” Judge Jesus Bernal said the the end of the hourlong hearing.

For a 30-day period ending on April 16, the number of home escrows in Riverside County were down 46% from the previous period.  The number of listings were slightly up 3.1%.

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cost Riverside County government at least $80 million in this budget cycle and next, according to the county’s finance officer.

The nation’s colleges and universities are trying to figure out how to deal with incoming classes and fall semesters.  As the Washington Post reports, nothing is firm yet (which is, understandably aggravating for students) and possibilities range from “a return to normalcy, which few higher education insiders believe at this point, to a fall semester with dorms shuttered and students taking classes from home until at least January.”

A local Facebook group is asking people to adopt a graduating senior in the Coachella Valley. “You adopt a senior in high school and pretty much shower them with extra love…
Send a letter, card, gift, gift card, snack, anything to let them know we’re all rooting for them,” the group states as its mission.

Cups Cafe in Palm Desert will reopen next week:

✨Hey Cups Cafe lovers… we are back ✨This Monday April 27, our doors will open for to-go orders. Stay tuned this…

Posted by Cups Cafe on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Finally, where are all the airplanes these days?  With far less in the sky due to decreased travel from the coronavirus pandemic, grounded planes are far as the eye can see are now parked at an airport in Victorville.  A pilot flying overhead shows what it’s like at the remote airport in this YouTube video:

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.

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.