Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Friday, July 17

(📸: Sharon Calcagno)

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. For ways to keep this website going (and free!), click here.

As of 3 pm Friday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 28,695 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.  518 people have been reported positive in the past 24 hours.
  • 587 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. This number includes 2 people reported dead in the last 24 hours.   

Here’s the latest from the Coachella Valley:

As of 3 pm Wednesday, San Bernardino County has confirmed (there has not been an update in 2 days):

  • 21,468 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 310 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.

As of 4 pm Friday, the State of California has confirmed:

      • 366,427 people have official tested positive for COVID-19.
      • 7,511 people are confirmed to have died in the state of CA from the coronavirus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that only schools in counties off the state’s coronavirus watchlist for two weeks straight will be allowed to reopen for in-person instruction. Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties are all currently on the watchlist.

Washington DC will see a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on reopening schools next week.  The White House is not allowing anyone from the CDC to testify, including Director Dr. Robert Redfield. “Dr. Redfield has testified on the Hill at least four times over the last three months. We need our doctors focused on the pandemic response,” a White House official said.


The Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside, which three months ago had to evacuate 80 patients when most of the staff failed to show up, has reopened its doors. The county says that the center worked on its reopening plan with officials for several months. This included additional employee training and personal protective equipment.

You may have seen a new TV commercial called “Mayors Mask Up” featuring all but one of the Coachella Valley’s mayors wearing masks.  The city of Palm Desert’s mayor is not featured, with the spot instead showing Councilmember Jan Harnik:

Stores like Walmart, Ralphs, and Food 4 Less are posting signs at cash registers at stores around the country asking for people to use cards instead of paying by cash.  Why?  The pandemic has caused a temporary coin shortage, as less have been used over the past few months.

While retail stores, airlines, and other industries promote “deep cleaning” practices during the pandemic, the reality is very different. They New York Times reports on the realities of janitors being asked to keep things virus-free, and how many companies are not issuing the supplies or time to do so.


Thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.  Updates will resume on Monday.  Enjoy your weekend and stay safe.

These are stressful times for all of us. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and our desert community stronger. This link has some resources to help with coping and also numbers to call or text if you, or someone you know, feels overwhelmed.

Please, take care of yourself and each other. You are important. You are valued. You are loved. 💚🌵

Anything we missed? Let us know about it.