Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Thursday, May 28

(📸: 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 Thursday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 7,341 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
    • 89 people have been reported to have tested positive in the last 24 hours.
  • 313 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.
    • There were 7 reported deaths of people in the last 24 hours.
  • There are currently 199 confirmed cases hospitalized.
    • 66 of those people in the ICU.
  • There have been 4,431 official recovered cases in the county.
  • The county has conducted 110,358 tests.


As of 3 pm Thursday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 4,914 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 190 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 4 pm Thursday, there have been 103,605 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 3,983 confirmed deaths in the state.

The numbers increase everyday.  They are more than just numbers.  They are people we have lost:

California has reported the largest single-day increase in confirmed cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. California Department of Public Health data shows 2,617 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. The state’s previous high was 2,603 cases on May 5.

We hear a lot about businesses and other buildings conducting temperature checks these days, but are those effective in screening those who may be infected from entering?  Well, a little, but it’s not at all foolproof.  According to the CDC, some people who have COVID-19 don’t display any symptoms, including a fever. In addition, symptoms can develop anywhere between two and 14 days after exposure.  So basically, someone could have the virus, and a temperature check wouldn’t catch it, because they are still days away from having a fever. Aside from the asymptomatic cases, one study found that out of 5,700 people seriously ill with COVID-19, two-thirds didn’t have a fever at all, so they would also not be screened out with a temperature check. “Fever screening can be one part of a wider system, but it’s still unclear how much marginal benefit there is,” an infectious disease expert told

Sonoma County was one of the first in California to begin reopening their economy in early May. Throughout the month, officials loosened restrictions on car sales, construction, summer camp, and other businesses and activities.  The county has now slowed down the reopening after reporting 203 new cases of the virus in the last 14 days, doubling its case rate in that time from 20 per 100,000 residents to 41 per 100,000.

What can you do to help stop the spread of coronavirus?  A bio professor told CNN you can socialize outside, keep a social distance, and wear a mask. “As long as you’ve got that 6 feet of distance and you’ve got the air blowing and you just are enjoying each other’s company, then 6 feet is fine,” she said. “If you’re exercising and huffing and puffing away from 6 feet, I would get a little further apart.  She added, “If you put a mask on when outside [while] spending an extended period of time with a friend or somebody, masks help.”

President Trump, who hasn’t said much about the mounting death toll of coronavirus in the United States tweeted that it’s a “very sad milestone” on Thursday morning.  He also expressed his “heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent”:

A few minutes later, he tweeted this:

Four CVS stores in the Coachella Valley will conduct drive-thru coronavirus testing.  The no charge tests will start on Friday.

California now has an unemployment rate of 15.5%, with more than 2.3 million jobs lost. But, a local economist at Claremont College told ABC 7 there appears to be nowhere to go but up.  “We’ve reached the bottom. It’s not going to get worse,” he told the TV station.

Temecula is the latest Inland Empire city to call off its 4th of July fireworks show.  It joins Murrieta, and Riverside – though Riverside is going to discuss the possibility of still having some sort of show.

An event producer talked to the Desert Sun about the future of fundraising events for charities in the Coachella Valley in the age of coronavirus. Instead of the lengthy events the desert’s gala crowd has become used to, they would instead take part in a 35 to 45 minute online experience featuring some pre-recorded content and a live fundraising segment, such as an auction.  “A virtual event allows an organization to connect wi  th their donors in a virtual capacity, providing them the ability to fund-raise,” the promoter told the Desert Sun. “It may not be as fun or as glamorous as large in-person events are, but at the end of the day, it keeps their mission front and center and that engagement front and center, and that’s the most important thing. If we can’t do a physical event, this is an alternate way to help them achieve what they need.”

Your days of not being summoned for jury duty are almost over.  The county will start calling prospective jurors in the middle of June, with some new safety measures in place for those called.

Since the 1970s, the White House has provided a federal budget proposal every February and a then a “mid-session review” in July or August, featuring updated projections on economic trends such as unemployment, inflation and economic growth in the United States. But, they won’t be doing that this year. Anonymous officials told the Washington Post that COVID-19 is causing extreme volatility in the U.S. economy, making it difficult to model economic trends.

More Coachella Valley restaurants are opening again for dine-in service, including Copley’s, Stuft Pizza, and Sherman’s:

Best Beverage Catering is doing another Warehouse Sale this weekend.  It will take place Thursday – Sunday at the Empire Polo Field (next to Polo Pizza).  Personal note, I went last weekend and got a good deal on bottle of Jameson, some tasty Chavela mix, and a big jar of salsa:

Finally, this grandma got a little creative so that she could hug her grandkids:

That’s all for this evening. Stay safe. Stay smart. Stay home.   

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.