Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Monday, June 29

(📸: 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:

  • 16,634 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.  991 people have been reported positive since Friday.
  • 440 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. This number includes 2 people reported dead since Friday.

Here’s the latest from the Coachella Valley:

An additional note on hospitals…and it’s really not good:

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

  • 11,797 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 249 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.

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

  • 222,059 people have official tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 5,975 people are confirmed to have died in the state of CA from the coronavirus.

Nationally, things are not going well:


There have been a lot of developments since our last recap. The main theme: the virus is spreading and it is spreading fast. Be smart.  Be safe.  And for god’s sake, wear a damn mask. Here we go…

Riverside County health officials have ordered all bars, breweries, pubs, and whatever else people are calling them nowadays to close, effective Tuesday at 2 am.  The announcement follows Governor Newsom recommend multiple counties close bars over the weekend, following a surge in coronavirus cases.  There is no timeline on when they will be allowed to reopen:

One quick note here: A big thing learned about this virus over the last few months is that it can spread fast in crowded indoor areas, especially where people are singing, talking loudly, and not wearing masks – which are basically all things that describe people in bars and clubs. It’s crappy to close them down, but, with cases surging and hospitals running out of beds, what are officials supposed to do? They gave people a shot to act responsibly and, while some did, a lot of people and some businesses didn’t – and now, here we are.

There was a lot of talk early on about cities allowing restaurants and bars to close off parking lots and streets to serve food and booze and that really hasn’t happened much, which is too bad. I get it, the desert is hot – but, hear me out. If serving beers on a socially distant stretch of parking lot after the sun goes down helps local bars and breweries stay open, while also lowering the chance of passing along coronavirus and giving people something to do, maybe it’s worth a shot. Because simply opening things up and pretending like we are not in the middle of a pandemic was a total failure. 

At least five employees at two Ralph’s stores (Indio and Palm Springs) have tested positive for coronavirus. “In all instances, we perform a thorough deep cleaning by a CDC-approved third party company as soon as we are notified about a positive test result,” a company spokesperson told KESQ. The company said one worker has recovered and is back at work.

And, as grocery store workers put their health and lives on the line to make sure your family can eat, people are around the country are still freaking out over doing a very simple thing to help keep them safe:

KMIR covered what they called an “anti-mask protest” in Cathedral City over the weekend.  There appeared to be maybe three or four people there, including two children. One anti-masker told the station, “I respect our governor, he is our governor, but as well we are here peacefully disagreeing with him to give him an understanding that you know people are here peacefully to voice their opinion and we need him to listen to all people.” So there’s that. 

A total of three Palm Springs police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.  All of the officers work the night shift. The other 11 officers on that shift are now quarantined. The department told the Desert Sun they are relying on overtime to maintain patrols for now.

At least four laboratory experiments suggest that a mutation in the coronavirus has made the virus more infectious. The mutation doesn’t appear to make people sicker, but a growing number of scientists worry that it has made the virus more contagious.  it is important to note that the studies have not yet been peer-reviewed.

In an interview that aired Sunday as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would “settle” for a coronavirus vaccine that is between 70% and 75% effective, “because that would bring you to that level that would be herd immunity level.”  But, Fauci is worried about the country achieving herd immunity – because if 25% of the population refuses to get a coronavirus vaccine, Fauci believes herd immunity from COVID-19 would be “unlikely.”

Los Angeles County is closing its beaches to the public over the Fourth of July weekend in an effort to prevent large gatherings that could lead to spread of the coronavirus:

Despite just laying off thousands of employees, Macy’s is going forward with fireworks shows in New York City this week.  The company will launch fireworks all week from secret locations in a move that they feel will prevent large crowds from gathering:

Locally, Agua Caliente Casino is having a fireworks show this week.  The casino says they will limit the number of cars on the property to encourage social distancing:

The real estate industry has had to adapt quickly during the pandemic. Agents giving tours of homes on FaceTime are now becoming the standard and many people are buying homes without ever setting foot in the first, especially as most sellers would prefer strangers not coming into their homes and touching and breathing on everything.  Vox has a look at the current state of the industry.



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.