Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Monday, July 13

(📸: 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 Monday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 25,748 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.  983 people have been reported positive since Friday
  • 550 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. This number includes 13 people reported dead since Monday.

Here’s the latest from the Coachella Valley:

As of 3 pm Monday, San Bernardino County has confirmed:

  • 18,502 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 307 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.

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

  • 333,356 people have official tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 7,089 people are confirmed to have died in the state of CA from the coronavirus.


Updates below, but first, a quick note: Today was another tough day.  It sucks being told to shut down and go home and many were told to do just that. Hair salons, gyms, churches, malls, and just about everything that’s not a casino (weird, right?) was ordered closed down as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals come dangerously close to running out of beds in Riverside County and many other California counties. And this time, it hurts so much more than the last time we had to do this.

I mean, all that time this Spring where we stayed home, lost income, cancelled trips, missed graduations, and so much more – seemingly wasted, as we are not only right back to where we started, we are worse.  While many pushed to quickly reopen, very few asked how to reopen and stay open.  And while many did their part and followed health and social distancing guidelines, others crowded into bars, went to large gatherings, and spent their time yelling at Trader Joe’s staff about “their freedoms” instead of simply wearing a mask for a couple of minutes…and all the while, the virus just continued to spread. 

And so now, here we are. 

Now look, there are some glimmers of hope for this time around.  The scientific and medical communities have learned much more about the coronavirus and how to treat it.  We know that the chance of getting it while outside is far less than inside a crowded building with the air conditioning running.  Of course, that doesn’t help us desert rats much these days, as it’s a million degrees, but it does help everyone to plan better for the future and, perhaps, some of our leaders have learned that planning, and not simply ignoring the virus and hoping it just goes away, is the way we are all going to get through this.  

Now the updates:

As mentioned above, here we go again:

The two largest school districts in So Cal announced on Monday that fall classes will begin online.  Los Angeles and San Diego counties will begin online instruction in mid-August but will, according to a joint press release, “continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year, as soon as public health conditions allow.”

The US Secretary of Education went on CNN on Sunday to repeat over and over that kids should be back in school this fall.  She failed to provide any plan to keep children, teachers, and staff safe:

Researchers at UC San Francisco found that one in three young adults is at risk of severe COVID019, and smoking plays a big part in that risk. Researchers looked at more than 8,000 participants ages 18 to 25 who had participated in the National Health Interview Survey to see what their medical vulnerability to severe Covid-19 was in relation to risk indicators that had been set out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including health conditions and smoking habits.  They found 32% of the total study population were medically vulnerable for severe Covid-19. However, when the group of participants who smoked cigarettes or e-cigarettes were taken out of the analysis, the medically vulnerable percentage decreased by half, to 16%.

After a weekend where his administration tried to discredit the government’s top infectious-disease expert, Donald Trump started Monday by retweeting a former game show host’s bonkers conspiracy theory on the coronavirus.  He then proceeded to lie about why the country is seeing a huge spike in coronavirus cases:

He also lied about the mortality rate in the United States:

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is moving its annual maintenance shutdown period from September to August. The Tram’s GM said in a statement, “With our current extended closure, we decided that if we moved our maintenance period up by a month, we could perhaps reopen to the public by Labor Day rather than early October, as currently scheduled.”  The Tramway has been closed since March 13.

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PALM SPRINGS, CA (July 13, 2020) This year, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is moving its annual maintenance shutdown period from September to August. According to Tramway General Manager Nancy Nichols, “With our current extended closure, we decided that if we moved our maintenance period up by a month, we could perhaps reopen to the public by Labor Day rather than early October, as currently scheduled.” Along with other California attractions, the Tramway has been closed since March 13 due to the coronavirus. “Our new safety protocols are in place and we are ready to open” says Nichols, “But we certainly understand that this is a time when the health and safety of our guests and staff must take precedence.” “This year’s maintenance shut-down will provide an opportunity to replace the lower haul rope, exchange the carriage on cabin 2 and perform State-permit testing, along with control systems annual service and upgrades,” says Vice President of Tramway Systems Chris Bartsch. Adds Nichols, “While we regret the loss of the summer season for our visitors and locals, we hope that by Labor Day Weekend, we will be able to reopen. The fall is a wonderful time to visit the Tramway and we sincerely look forward to welcoming back our guests.”

A post shared by Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (@palmspringsaerialtramway) on

Finally…

Thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.

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.