5 Things to Know: Tuesday, October 13

Welcome to 5 Things to Know – a daily rundown of things you might want to be aware of if you live in, visit, or just like being aware about what’s going on in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. As always, thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.

1) The Coronavirus

The big news is that Riverside County will remain in the red tier instead of dropping back to the purple tier in California, despite not having the type of numbers which are required for that.

Moving back a tier would have led to the closure, once again, of indoor dining, indoor movie theaters, gyms, and other sectors of the economy. The county now has a bit more time to “make the case to the state that we can maintain our current status and still control COVID-19 in our communities,” the county’s top health officer said in a press release.

Riverside County reported 729 new cases and 2 new deaths since Friday. There have now been 1,258 reported deaths from coronavirus this year in Riverside County.

Here is the latest on what’s going on in the desert:


  • Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant’s “unexplained illness” is related to the shot.  No further info was released. A similar hold was made with AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate last month.

  • California’s top health official is urging Californians against trick or treating door-to-door this year.  He warns that it would be challenging to do proper contact tracing to alert those who may have been exposed to the virus while trick or treating.
  • Nationally, things are going not great at all:

2) That El Paseo Store Known for Ignorant, Insensitive, and Tacky Window Displays is Back in the News Because, Well…

3)  Oh Rats!

A local pest control company told KESQ that they’ve received 78 percent more rat calls in the Coachella Valley compared with last year, because, I guess, 2020 has just gotta keep finding new and inventive ways to go down as the worst year ever.

If you think you may have rats in your home, they recommend looking for chewed-up areas, grease marks, or droppings.

4) The ‘Bachelorette’ Season Filmed in La Quinta Premieres Tonight

I’m sure host Chris Harrison will warn it’s “the most shocking season of The Bachelorette ever” within the first 5 minutes when it debuts on ABC tonight – and, while those words are spoken often and almost never true, you may get a kick out of seeing the show as it was filmed during quarantine at La Quinta Resort. The show airs at 8 pm.

5) Here’s Where to Drop Off Your Ballot

Okay, I was going to move on after posting this all last week, but then this shit happened:

So yeah, be sure to avoid any potential scammers and drop off your ballot at an official location linked below.  

Your mail-in ballot is on the way (or, maybe already in your mailbox) and you’re probably pretty motivated to vote this year. But, as you may have heard, Donald Trump has been trying to slow down the mail for months because he’s desperate and he knows he’s behind.

So, you may be thinking that you might prefer to drop off your ballot, rather than put it in the mail.  If so, here’s a list of dates and places you can do that in Riverside County.

Important: Before you drop off or mail your ballot, make sure you sign the envelope and that your signature matches the one on your driver’s license, state ID or the signature you provided when registering. The county elections office will compare them to protect your vote.

Stay safe.  Stay smart.  Stay cool. Wear a mask.