Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Tuesday evening, May 19

(📸: Gabriela Vázquez Miranda)

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 Tuesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 6,053 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
    • 101 people have been reported to have tested positive in the last 24 hours.
  • 270 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.
    • 9 people have been reported dead in the last 24 hours.
  • There are currently 195 confirmed cases hospitalized.
    • 68 of those people in the ICU.
  • There have been 3,871 official recovered cases in the county.
  • The county has conducted 86,600 tests.
    • There have been 1,296 reported tests in the last 24 hours.

As of 3 pm Tuesday, San Bernardino County has confirmed 3,707 cases of COVID-19.  There have been 157 deaths in San Bernardino County.

As of 3 pm Tuesday, there have been 83,320 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California.  There have been 3,374 confirmed deaths in the state.


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


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its road map for reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants and mass transit. The guidance was expected to be released sooner, but had been held up by the White House, which worried it was too restrictive.  The CDC’s guide includes recommendations for schools (desks 6 feet apart, temperature screenings for all, staggered arrival times), buses (leave every other row empty), and child-care centers (limit the sharing of art supplies).

A trio of local casinos — Spotlight 29, Tortoise Rock, and Morongo Casino Resort & Spa — plan to reopen on Friday. Spotlight 29 and Tortoise Rock will open their doors at 10 am, Morongo will do the same at 2 pm.  All three have said they will have protective measures in place for coronavirus.  Gov. Gavin Newsom urged state tribes not not to reopen their gaming facilities in a letter last week. As sovereign nations, they are not required to follow Newsom’s reopening plan.

The annual 4th of July fireworks show at Mount Rubidoux has been cancelled for 2020 due to budget cuts and social distancing concerns. The city will host a virtual show and pursue a potential Fourth of July Family Day on Victoria Avenue.  The show usually draws as many as 100,000 people.  The estimated costs for fireworks, police, etc. was expected to be approximately $123,800.

Those who didn’t receive a direct deposit of a stimulus check won’t be getting their money in the form of a physical check.  Instead, the Treasury Department will issue nearly four million payments via prepaid Visa debit card.  The cards have no fees and can be used anywhere Visa is accepted and be used at ATM machines to withdraw cash or transfer money into your account.

A weekly $600 boost in unemployment insurance for laid-off workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic will expire this summer.  The benefits are paid by the federal government and administered by the states. Congressional Democrats have proposed extending the benefits through January. The Washington Post reports President Donald Trump has privately expressed opposition to extending the financial aid and congressional Republicans have voiced concerns that some workers are making more money on unemployment insurance than if they were on a payroll and therefore have less incentive to return to work or find a new job.

The LA Times reports on the changing landscape of restaurants in the age of to-go orders.  One restaurant, Guerrilla Tacos, offered “emergency taco kits” early on in the pandemic, which was a $155 package that included enough meat and tortillas to make 60 tacos, salsa, rice, beans, two dozen eggs and, most famously, a roll of toilet paper.  It was successful, but the restauarant has since shifted gears after sales of the kits began to decline. “Early on, I think people were just looking at food as survival,” the owner of the taco shop told the Times . “The tacos in the taco kit are very basic tacos, which was fine at the time.” In the past few weeks, the restaurant has started to create unique meals for two, each with a specific theme – including a classic steakhouse menu with shrimp cocktail and Caesar salad and a Korean barbecue kit with banchan and dipping sauces,

Krispy Kreme in Rancho Mirage took part in a promotion that gave 2020 grads free doughnuts on Tuesday.  It was very popular:

You might have noticed traffic around Monterey and Dinah Shore… here's why.

Posted by NBC Palm Springs on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

If you are looking to grab a local craft beer, CV Beer Scene has a rundown of the hours and to-go options at the Coachella Valley’s breweries.

Finally, if you are missing your goat, the Palm Springs Police Department has some good news for you:

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.