Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Tuesday, July 21

(📸: 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 Tuesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 30,890 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.  907 people have been reported positive in the last 24 hours.
  • 589 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. This number includes 1 person reported dead in the last 24 hours.

Here’s the latest from the Coachella Valley:

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

  • 25,067 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 333 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.

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

      • 407,693 people have official tested positive for COVID-19.
      • 7,867 people are confirmed to have died in the state of CA from the coronavirus.

After closing several indoor sectors of the economy around California last week, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary warned the state may not be done if cases continue to surge. “We will always have that finger on the dimmer switch. We are not afraid to use it,” he said on Tuesday. “We continue to watch the data very closely, and if we need to do even more with our strategies of closing, you know, changing and modifying further and maybe even considering other closures, we will do that.  But I think it is really kind of reaching this equilibrium.”.

A study by the CDC says that true COVID-19 rates were likely more than 10 times higher than reported cases in most U.S. regions from late March to early May. Researchers based their findings on 16,000 people in 10 U.S. regions. The study likely detected infections in people who may have had no symptoms or only mild illness, and who never got coronavirus tests. Infection rates were from six times higher than reported cases in Connecticut to 24 times higher in Missouri.

Another study released on Tuesday offered that most, if not all, of the coronavirus pandemic could be stopped if people did three things: wash their hands regularly, wear masks, and keep a social distance from each other.

The Mayor of Coachella posted his condolences to the family of Ramona Lujan, a local woman who recently died from coronavirus. “On behalf of the City of Coachella we would like to extend our condolences to the family of Ramona Lujan. Ramona was the city’s 2014 Senior Inspiration Award Recipient. She dedicated 1000s of hours of community service at our senior center and was an overall great person. Her family has given me permission to announce that she died of COVID-19. They ask that we remind people to wear a mask. And that the mask is not for you. That social distancing is not for you. But it’s for the grandma you never met, it’s to protect the strangers you see and the family members you know!”

On behalf of the City of Coachella we would like to extend our condolences to the family of Ramona Lujan. Ramona was…

Posted by Steven Hernandez on Friday, July 17, 2020

There have been a lot of freak out moments regarding masks over the last couple of months, with some claiming they have a “health condition” that doesn’t allow them to wear masks. ABC News dug into just what kind of health conditions those would be and they found that very, very few people would actually fall into that category. The chief medical officer for the American Lung Association told the news outlet, “masks have no detrimental effects, even in patients with chronic lung disease” and added,  “cases of exemption are very few and far between,” with “people with supplemental oxygen or compromised respiratory status which become short of breath even when walking might meet criteria, which in that case, going out in public is a health risk to the person.”  A psychiatrist stated, “I see lots of patients with mental health conditions including anxiety, psychotic and mood disorders, and I am yet to see one come in without a mask.  None of my patients have felt that wearing a mask triggers any of their symptoms.”


A local attorney told KESQ that businesses in the desert have every right to not serve someone refusing to wear a mask. “The business owner has the right not to admit anybody into a store if he doesn’t want to,” he said. “It’s his private place, and he can decide who he wants to come into his store.”

Some businesses are now adding a “COVID” charge to the bill.  NBC News found dentists, restaurants, salons, and more around the country adding the fee, due to increased costs due to social distancing requirements, additional sanitization, and protective equipment for staff:

Billed as the first press conference from the Coronavirus Task Force since Donald Trump asked about injecting bleach into people’s veins, Tuesday saw Donald Trump take to the podium alone, without any experts or doctors. With the exception of one very wtf moment, it went about as we have come to expect:

As for that wtf moment, well…

And while some praised Trump on having a “new tone” when speaking about the coronavirus, the reality is that his administration is still handling it terribly:

If you watched today, you may now need a drink or two…and La Quinta Brewing reminds that they are still selling beer to-go:

In a press release issued on Tuesday, Westfield Palm Desert announced that, while they have suspended indoor operations, stores with exterior entrances – such as Macy’s, JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Barnes & Noble and Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill – continue to operate. In addition, essential businesses like Lenscrafters remain open by appointment for eye exams. Curbside pick-up remains available for guests to order merchandise from stores like See’s Candies, Torrid, Journeys, Zumiez, and Express.

Riverside County’s top health official has a new graphic to show what businesses are open and which are currently closed in the county:


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.