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The Quartzsite Report: RV show info, health care in QZ, and more

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Things are beginning to liven up. Street traffic is up, RV parks are plumping out, and vendors are swapping stuff for money. While the Big Tent hasn’t been put up, folks are talking about the RV show – and it won’t be long now! Wonder about what to do if you need health care while taking in the Big Q? We’ll tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly. All that and more – read on!

Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show

Credit: Tony Barthel on Facebook.com

That’s the official name of what most everybody terms “the Big Tent” show. Yes, you can expect thousands upon thousands of folks will make a visit to the show this year. Several readers have asked us about RVtravel.com’s presence at the show.

RVtravel.com’s rig-reviewer extraordinaire, Tony Barthel, and his wife, Peggy, will be on hand for the entire RV show. Other RVtravel.com writers and contributors may pop in, as well. We’d love to meet our readers and hear their thinking on whatever RV topics are on their minds.

We have yet to be assigned a specific location, but we do know this: The RVtravel.com booth will be outside the main tent, on the midway. You’ll see our “branded” sign – it’ll be hard to miss. If you show up Tuesday at noon, you can watch/listen/stare in awe as Tony does a live podcast from the show.

Don’t bank on it!

Local merchants have been grumbling of late. For some time the only bank in Quartzsite, Horizon Community, has been closed. A sign on the door indicates the bank won’t reopen until January 6. Merchants who depend on the bank for processing checks and getting change for customers have been in a bit of a snit.

Last Monday the drive-through lanes were opened up – on a limited basis. Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., tellers will handle some transactions. We contacted the home office of the bank and were told that “a lot of sickness” was responsible for the closure. Asked if COVID-19 was the problem, the representative told us they weren’t able to answer that.

Quartzsite area health care

Credit: R&T De Maris

If you’re visiting Quartzsite and run into a medical need, what’s to be done? For hospital emergency rooms, “close” means anywhere between 25 minutes and better than a half-hour drive. The closest emergency room is at Palo Verde Hospital in Blythe, California. Your next bet is north to Parker, where the La Paz Regional Hospital is the center of care.

But “care” is a relative term. Both the Blythe and Parker facilities are too small to provide sufficient information for a “how good (or bad)” they rate by most health care evaluation outfits. We can tell you that in 2012, a group of public and private health insurance benefits buyers evaluated hospitals across the country. At that time, the Palo Verde Hospital was ranked the third worst hospital in the country – among “the most hazardous environments for patients in need of care.”

Better in Parker?

As for La Paz Regional, up in Parker, publisher usnews.com eye-balled the hospital’s rankings for various types of medical procedures. Newsweek rated it “average” on five categories, and “below average” on the other three. As to how patients felt about recommending the hospital to others? Those responding said on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most likely to recommend, the La Paz Regional got a dismal 2.

La Paz Regional does operate an adjacent urgent care center. If you’re coming in on insurance, you’ll likely find your co-pay rate for an urgent care visit is typically much less than an emergency room call. However, you’ll need to meet La Paz dictates as to when you visit. Urgent care operating hours are usually 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. We say “usually,” as their urgent care center has been closed down for most of the month of December due to “staffing shortages.”

Your next choices for hospitals or urgent care are north to Lake Havasu City, where the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade evaluators rate Havasu Regional Medical Center with a “C” grade. South in Yuma, the Yuma Regional Medical Center likewise receives a “C” grade. If you want to better your chances if you need hospital care, you’ll need to head over to Phoenix.

There are several urgent care centers in both Yuma and Lake Havasu.

And about those prescriptions…

Need prescription drugs? There is but one pharmacy in Quartzsite. Happy Valley Pharmacy is next door to the post office. Their hours are 9 to 5, Monday through Thursday. They close early on Friday. Beware, they take a lunch break from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Don’t even bother to phone them – they will only take calls from doctors’ offices. If you want to know anything, you’ll have to make the trip into the pharmacy directly. Be prepared, they don’t always have what the patient needs that day. You may be told they’ll have it on the next business day.

As far as we know, there are no health care providers at the RV show, but you’ll likely find plenty of medical-related products!

What about sick teeth? We’ll tell you more about nearby Molar City, Mexico, in a future edition.

And the weekly statistics

How many folks in Quartzsite? It’s impossible to accurately gauge. We’re using the census count from the Hi Jolly Short Term Visitor Area as a gauge.

Last Week This Week Change
68 93 36.8% increase

 

They’re coming back, after moving out the prior week – maybe for the holidays. We’ll see if the population continues to increase next week.

Fuel Costs (Average)

Last Week This Week Change
Gasoline 3.683 3.692 0.24% increase
Diesel 4.120 4.071 1.19% decrease
Propane 2.833 2.833 No change (Best price, Pattie’s RV Park at $2.73. Worst, RV Pit Stop $3.00)

 

Internet Speeds

Last Week This week
Verizon Mobile 5.55D/0.80U 1:51 PM

2.23D/3.32U 9:00 PM

4.89D/3.36U 11:51 AM

2.27D/3.97U  9:30 PM

ATT Mobile 8.29D/3.78U 1:48 PM

1.78D/3.72U 9:00 PM

6.83D/4.77U 11:49 AM

2.81D/1.47U  9:27 PM

 

Health Issues

Our “face mask count” is based on numbers of folks at three locations: a popular grocery store, the post office, and a “dollar store.” The count is the total number of folks present and those who are masked up. The percentage given is the percentage of mask-wearers. We are changing our COVID patient count methodology. We’re including new cases within the last week, and comparing the percentage of change from two weeks back. The data is provided by the Arizona Department of Health.

Face Mask Count [Total people counted/masked (% masked)]

Last Week This Week
88/17 (19.3%) 83/11 (13.3%)

 

COVID Patient Count

Our statistics are from the Arizona Department of Health, as presented by Arizona Central. They are:

Quartzsite average daily cases in last week: 2 (week prior: 17)
Quartzsite average cases per 10,000 people: 5 (week prior: 37)
Change in number of cases from two weeks ago: 60% higher.

Our “normal” information table returned this week. Last week was frustrating as the numbers “didn’t look right,” but we couldn’t find anyone to explain them. For reference, note that all surrounding zip codes show a DECLINE in cases over the last two weeks. 

Want to know more about Quartzsite? Have something to share? Here’s what to do. Fill out the form below and include “Quartzsite” in the subject line.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

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Ron Vanderhoof
25 days ago

Thank you for the updates.
Enjoy reading your articles.

John fleming
25 days ago

Great and detailed info, Russ & Tina.

Thomas
25 days ago

Thank you for producing the above healthcare information for the Quartzsite area. Most of us RV’ers travel without giving any thought to what we’ll do or where we’ll get services if we need them. The fact that there are limited medical resources in the Quartzsite area should give visitors reason to be cautious in every respect.