COUNTY REPORTS 50 MORE VIRUS CASES, DEATHS NOW AT 8

San Bernardino County reported 50 more cases of the coronavirus and two more deaths Thursday (April 2). The county now has 304 cases, up from 254 on Wednesday, and eight deaths, up from six, the latest county data shows. Yucca Valley has two confirmed cases; still none in Twentynine Palms. Yucaipa, where an outbreak occurred at the Cedar Mountain Post Acute Rehabilitation center, still has the most cases at 68. That number rose by eight from Wednesday. Of the 3,391 people tested for COVID-19, 9 percent had positive results, the county’s data show.

Of those who tested positive, 51.8% are male, 47.9% are female and .3% were unknown.

Most of the cases, 126, were among people 18 to 49 years old, while 90 were 50 to 64 years old, 83 were older than 65 and four were 2 to 17 years old, according to the county.

COUNTY ORDERS SHORT TERM LODGING TO CEASE OPERATIONS

The County’s Acting Health Officer formally ordered short-term lodging facilities—including hotels, motels, and short-term residential-style rental units—to cease operations until the governor’s “Stay at Home” order and the County’s order prohibiting gatherings have been rescinded. The county issued the specific order Thursday to bring about compliance and assist in enforcement. Short-term lodging facilities may operate only if they are being used for COVID-19 mitigation and containment, such as serving the homeless population, or are being used to house workers supporting critical infrastructure. The county’s order also extends indefinitely the prohibition on gatherings, and continues the closure of all movie theaters, gyms, health clubs, bars, and other businesses. The order does not pertain to essential businesses.

THE USE OF FACE COVERINGS NOW RECOMMENDED

County health officials are recommending that people use face coverings when leaving home to conduct essential business. Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose and include homemade cloth masks, bandanas, handkerchiefs, and neck gaiters. However, staying home, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing are more effective ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, and face masks are not a substitute.

County health officials urge people not to use surgical or N95 masks as those should be preserved for healthcare workers and first responders.

Masks should be washed at least daily in hot water with detergent. Hands should be washed or sanitized after touching the face mask.

NON-PROFITS MOVING FUNDRAISERS ONLINE

Nonprofits that serve vulnerable communities are losing income from canceled fundraisers because of the coronavirus. Managing editor Tami Roleff explains how some are adapting…

The COVID-19 pandemic is really hurting nonprofits organizations—in particular those that serve vulnerable populations such as the elderly and low-income. Alphonso David with the Human Rights Campaign says organizations are needed more now than ever.

“Not-for-profit organizations exist because in most cases they are providing critical services and resources to marginalized communities. And those services and resources are more important now than ever.”

Some nonprofits are seeing a huge surge in demand – even as they have to change the way they do business to accommodate social distancing – especially groups that provide food, shelter or medical care to low income families.

Many nonprofits are sending out pleas for donations on their websites and on social media. Eddie Martinez with the Latino Equality Alliance says he fears that many donors are in wait-and-see mode.

“I don’t think, right now, a lot of people are in a giving mode. I think a lot of people are holding onto their resources because they don’t know what to expect.”

The CARES Act does include new tax incentives to encourage charitable contributions.

Locally, schools and senior centers have meals available for pick-up, and Reach Out Morongo Basin is delivering meals to seniors.

Many organizations have turned to online auctions, virtual races, and more.  

TWENTYNINE PALMS MARINE BASE CANCELS THREE UPCOMING TRAINING EXERCISES

Marine Corps officials at the Combat Center in Twentynine Palms have cancelled three upcoming exercises: Integrated Training Exercise, Marine Warfighting Exercise, and Adversary Force Training Exercise. Officials anticipate modified versions of ITX, WFX, and AFX to be held when public health conditions permit. The base’s training schools are continuing, but all other training courses are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if they are mission essential.