Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday, July 16

(📸: Sue Farris)

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 Thursday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 28,177 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.  806 people have been reported positive since Friday
  • 585 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. This number includes 8 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:

  • 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 Thursday, the State of California has confirmed:

      • 358,713 people have official tested positive for COVID-19.
      • 7,423 people are confirmed to have died in the state of CA from the coronavirus.

Rite Aid is expanding its COVID-19 testing capacity with nearly 100 new drive-thru testing sites opening Thursday across California, including more than a dozen locations in Riverside County and three in the Coachella Valley. Testing will be available by appointment for people 18 years of age or older, regardless of whether the person is experiencing symptoms, according to Rite Aid. Results are expected in three to five days, a company spokesperson said. Info can be found here.  Locations in Riverside County are:

  • 910 W. Ontario Ave., Corona
  • 1688 N. Perris Blvd., Perris
  • 16491 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Elsinore
  • 8015 Limonite Ave., Riverside
  • 616 E. Hobson Way, Blythe
  • 260 N. Sanderson Ave., Hemet
  • 12900 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs
  • ]806 Ramsey St., Banning
  • 1180 N. State St., San Jacinto
  • 894 Oak Valley Parkway, Suite B, Beaumont
  • 42021 E. Florida Ave., Hemet
  • 51101 Cesar Chavez St., Coachella
  • 47985 Monroe St., Building A, Indio
  • 1660 E. First St., Beaumont

While indoor operations have once again closed for many sectors of the local economy, casinos remain open. Soboba Casino Resort near San Jacinto announced it will make one change going forward: Going totally smoke-free during the coronavirus pandemic:

Some So Cal hair salons, barbershops and other beauty industry are asking the governor of California for permission to do business outside during the pandemic. They say they should be allowed to offer their services in parking lots and sidewalks — just like restaurants. Current state law says salons must perform their service inside a licensed business. “My bills are still going to be due at the end of the day. When all this is over, everybody wants their money,” a Grand Terrace salon owner told ABC 7.

A new analysis of cases in the US by the CDC shows travel bans instituted earlier this year did little to stop the virus from reaching the United States. The US restricted travel from China on February 2 and from Europe on March 13, but by March 8, COVID-19 was already circulating among the community in New York City and, by March 15, community transmission of the virus was already widespread, the analysis found. Researchers found  the strain of the virus circulating in the US closely matched the strain seen in Europe, not China, which President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed for not preventing its spread to the US.

A document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, but not publicized, suggests more than a dozen states should revert to more stringent protective measures, limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, closing bars and gyms and asking residents to wear masks at all times. The document, dated July 14 and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, says 18 states, including California, are in the “red zone” for COVID-19 cases, meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week. California is not one of the eleven states listed in the “red zone” for test positivity, meaning more than 10 percent of diagnostic test results came back positive.

Gov. Newsom is expected to make call on reopening California schools for in-person instruction at a press conference on Friday at noon, according to ABC 7. Up until this point, reopening decisions have been left entirely up to local school districts. Now, the state is expected to take over the decision making.

The White House announced on Thursday that they want kids back in schools starting next and that “the science should not stand in the way of this.” CDC Guidance on schools warns that the highest risk for COVID-19 spread in schools is having “full sized, in-person classes, activities and events” and where “students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities”:

A new poll finds that 67% of voters do not trust the information on the coronavirus provided by Donald Trump, while almost the identical number say they do trust Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Meanwhile, this is what the President of the United States took time to talk about on Thursday:

In June, Amber Lynn Gilles posted a picture of a San Diego Starbucks barista, Lenin Gutierrez, on Facebook and accused him of discrimination for refusing to serve her because she wasn’t wearing a face covering.  An Orange County man saw the post, shared it, and set up a Go Fund Me for the barista.  The result was a whopping $100,000 in donations.  Now Gilles says she should get half of that and has started her own Go Fund Me to hire a lawyer.

Knott’s Berry Farm will host a Taste of Calico event on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from July 17-26. The park has been closed since March due to the coronavirus. The Taste of Calico will essentially recreate the canceled Knott’s Boysenberry Festival as a private ticketed event while the theme park’s rides and attractions remain closed indefinitely. The 23 food and drink menu items include a lineup of boysenberry chili, sausages, wings, samoas, churros, bread pudding, lemonade, beer and wine. Knott’s will follow health and safety protocols with temperature screenings, social distancing and enhanced sanitization during the Taste of Calico events.


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.