Deserts

CVS Health Opening 10 More Drive-Thru COVID-19 Test Sites in Riverside County

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – CVS Health Thursday expanded its COVID-19 no-cost testing program by announcing 91 additional test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across California, including 10 in Riverside County. The opening of the additional test sites on Friday add to the 14 locations opened in California on May 22, including two Riverside County locations. The company late last month committed to establish 1,000 locations across the country by the end of May, with a goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month, subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity, according to CVS Helath President and CEO Larry J. Merlo. More than half of the company’s 1,000 test sites will serve communities with the greatest need for support, as measured by the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, he said. The index tracks a variety of census variables, including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing that may weaken a community’s ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks. Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

Graphic Photo Shows Dog Found Severely Injured by Chemicals

THOUSAND PALMS (CNS) – An abandoned  dog suffering extensive chemical burns that authorities are unsure were inflicted intentionally or by accident received veterinary treatment at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms Wednesday. The male Australian shepherd mix was brought into the shelter by a good Samaritan and had a large section of its backside injured, as well as part of its tail missing, according to Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh. Veterinary technician Lori Stamp Brown was among the first shelter staff to care for the dog. “The wounds were consistent with what we have seen with chemical burns,” Brown said. “He was experiencing pain and was very uncomfortable with being touched.” Welsh said the dog appears to be a stray, and it was unclear where he was injured, or the exact source. “It’s uncertain if the injuries were accidental, or if someone purposely injured the dog in an act of cruelty,” he said. Department of Animal Services Director Julie Bank said she was troubled by the possibility that the dog was intentionally splashed with chemicals. “We welcome any tips from…

NBCares Silver Linings: Safe House of the Desert

The pandemic has millions of people across the globe frightened. Regardless of age we are all uncertain as to what the future holds but imagine being a young vulnerable teen who was dealing with great emotional challenges before the crisis hit? How can we help them? Our friends at Safe House of the Desert have some answers and a silver lining…

Coronavirus Has Killed More Than 100,000 People Across The US

It took just four months for an unseen enemy to kill 100,000 Americans. That’s almost twice the number of Americans lost during the entire Vietnam War. No one knew how bad the coronavirus pandemic would get when the first known virus-related death happened on February 6. But since then, an average of nearly 900 Americans have died every day from Covid-19. The 100,047 death toll reported Wednesday comes from data collected by Johns Hopkins University. But it might not paint a complete picture. Some victims — such as those who die in their homes and not in a hospital — might never have been tested for Covid-19. And, sometimes, officials within the same state don’t agree on how to report deaths. The victims have represented some of the best of humanity: An ER doctor who risked his life trying to save others. A grandmother and refugee who worked tirelessly to provide a better life for her children. A 36-year-old principal who helped troubled students grow produce for the needy. A Holocaust survivor who saved dozens of families from genocide. Their lives are gone, but the collective struggle remains. Coronavirus is still spreading unabated, and no one knows how many more Americans will…

Coachella Valley Leaders Get Tested for COVID-19

On Wednesday at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio  leaders from across the Coachella Valley  practiced what they’ve preaching: get tested for coronavirus. “We are demonstrating by example to the public that we like for you all to be tested even if you don’t feel any symptoms,” said Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, who represents the fourth district and is also board chair. Perez was first in a long line of cars for the free county tests now available to anyone.   “All the way out and really what I‘m looking for is that little gag reflex,” said a nurse as she swabbed his throat.  “Wow … alright we got it done,” said Perez as he laughed admitting that it was uncomfortable.   The Mayor of La Quinta Linda Evans got tested too. The nurse told her she did a “beautiful” job getting tested. Evans says she’s proud of the city’s employees who had the most employees tested of any city in the valley. “And it’s just another way for us to share with our residents that we are taking COVID-19 seriously, we recognize the need…

Reports Say 2020 Coachella Performers Being Asked to Play in 2021

Reports say the artists scheduled to take the stage for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are being asked to play in 2021 instead. This is according to Bloomberg. They say their report comes from people familiar with the matter. NBC Palm Springs has not independently confirmed this. Headliners scheduled for the 2020 festival are Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean. Coachella is the largest music festival in the U.S., generating as much as $100 million in sales for promoter Goldenvoice and its parent AEG. In March Goldenvoice released a statement saying, “At the direction of the County of Riverside and local health authorities, we must sadly confirm the rescheduling of Coachella and Stagecoach due to COVID-19 concerns,” said the events’ promoter. “While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously.” Coachella was rescheduled for Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18, while Stagecoach is scheduled for Oct. 23-25, both at the Empire Polo Club in Indio with all ticket purchases for the April dates will be honored in October. Stagecoach…

Local salons and barbershops start to welcome clients again

The sound of hair dryers and conversations filled the Kings Club Barber Shop for the first time in months. “It was scary not knowing,” said Gilbert Figueroa, a barber at Kings Club Barber Shop in Cathedral City. “We didn’t know anything, they just let us know yesterday that we were open. We were caught by surprise and didn’t have all of our barbers because we didn’t know. But the outcome of the morning was nice, people were missing us.” The grand reopening included new safety precautions. “We require everyone that’s going to be in here waiting to wear a mask, we keep them separated and only allow a certain amount of people. The clients are pretty cool about waiting in their car but we already explained to them,” said Figueroa. Those clients getting a fresh cut didn’t seem to mind the new safety protocol. “It definitely makes it feel safe, they’re cleaning around, sanitizing the area,” said Aldo Perez a Kings Club barber. “Around noon after the governor announced it, the first call i made was to my barber,” said Bill Cunningham, a client at…

Local Astronomer Speaks on Scrubbed Rocket Launch

With this being the first manned spaceflight launching from the U.S. in almost a decade, there is much excitement across the nation and here locally. We caught up with a local astronomer at the rancho mirage observatory who had a lot to say about today’s launch and he gave us a better understanding of how weather plays a factor. Although the launch did not happen Wednesday, there is another window for a possible launch on Saturday. The weather was Wednesday’s culprit and we learned how weather plays a role not only in space launches but for fellow local sky enthusiasts too. Local Astronomer Eric McLaughlin says this type of event is affected heavily by weather conditions. “When it comes to putting someone into space, it isn’t just a matter of getting through the clouds and you’re good. if something were to go wrong with the rocket, those spacecraft need to be removed from the vehicle and the astronauts returned safely to the ground,” explained Eric McLaughlin, Astronomer at Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. McLaughlin says he has been following SpaceX as a company as looking…

Quail Trails

I used to live in beautiful, forested Oregon. Then I came to the desert, and, to be honest, I hated it! Images of green, tall trees, and delightful weather were incomprehensibly different from the insufferable sand, miserable wind, and unforgiving…

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Expresses Lack of Technology in Schools

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Wednesday called on California’s cross-sector partners to accelerate investments that can help all California students access the technology they need to succeed academically in all educational settings. During a virtual media check-in early Wednesday,  Thurmond stressed the importance of the continued efforts to support California public school students’ widespread technology needs as schools look to possibly utilize distance learning in the fall. As plans for the next school year are being made now, most will likely including a component of distance learning, and students will only be successful if they have equitable access to devices and internet connectivity. “Before the pandemic, we knew there were huge inequities that existed in regards to student access to devices and internet connectivity. The effects of COVID-19 have only made this more visible and created a sense of urgency that we must address now,” said Thurmond. “Access to technology and reliable, affordable internet is not only necessary for distance learning but also for lifelong success. It’s time we level the playing field for our students.” During today’s news conference, the State…

COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 300 in Riverside County

Riverside County health officials are reporting 113 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths Wednesday, bringing the countywide totals to 7,252 cases and 306 deaths. The update came as state officials continue easing restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus in an effort to restart California’s economy. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday cleared the way for barbershops and hair salons to open in counties that have been cleared to move deeper into California’s reopening roadmap, including Riverside County. Riverside is one of 47 counties in the state that have been granted “regional variances” needed to open more types of businesses. Restrictions on in-person dining and shopping were previously lifted in time for the Memorial Day weekend. The Gardens on El Paseo, an outdoor shopping center in Palm Desert, reopened on Tuesday, although only a handful of shops were operational. The Westfield Mall, also in Palm Desert, is set to reopen on Friday. Officials at both shopping centers readying to welcome customers said they will have limited hours and will implement robust cleaning protocols, with a focus on high-touch areas. Mall giant Simon…

NBCares Silver Linings: Mary Hamilton and Michael Proctor

For ten years the Galilee Center has been a crucial resource for our East Valley. In this pandemic their needs are greater than ever to provide food, clothing, housing assistance and now face masks. Marketing Executive Mary Hamilton and her husband Michael Proctor, Vice Chair of the La Quinta planning commission, recently came to the rescue donating 4,000 CDC approved masks to the non profit. It was a silver lining for all…

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