Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Tuesday, July 7

(📸: 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.

And we’re back from an extended holiday weekend…

As of 3 pm Tuesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 21,101 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.  546 people have been reported positive in the last 24 hours.
  • 506 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. This number includes 20 people 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:

  • 15,932 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 275 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.

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

  • 282,257 people have official tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 6,551 people are confirmed to have died in the state of CA from the coronavirus.

Before the updates, a quick note…

I’m back to doing the update thing after taking an extended 4th of July break from posting.  Thanks to the dozen or so of you who messaged to make sure that I was still alive. I appreciate it. Back in March, when there was just so much news and information about coronavirus, I decided to post a roundup about it one evening.  The post was well-received and well-read and so I continued doing it. Now, here we are nearly 4 months later, and below are more updates about what has become our new normal. 

If you can, taking a break from diving into the day-to-day wall-to-wall information about COVID-19 can do wonders for your state of mind, I know it did for me.  This isn’t to say you act stupid, refuse to wear a mask, go to large gatherings, and ignore the virus while just hoping it will magically go away (or, as the kids call it: Trumping), but just taking some time to be human any way you can whether that means watching or movie, reading a book, zooming with friends, or, in my case, spending a couple days improving my home’s landscaping and electrical…what fun!

Anyway, I don’t know how long these updates will go on for.  I hope they end sooner rather than later.  But, that day is not today.  So here we go and, as always, thank you for your support.

Now on with the updates:

More than 200 scientists and experts across the world signed an open letter on Monday to public health bodies, including the World Health Organization, arguing there’s significant evidence the coronavirus can persist in the air and spread in airborne particles from person to person.  While the WHO’s current guidance on the matter is that the virus spreads through droplets, the experts who penned the letter believe when a person with COVID-19 expels virus, the particles remain aloft and can travel great distances on air currents, particularly where ventilation is poor. They urge better ventilation in public buildings and reducing overcrowding.

KESQ visited JFK Memorial Hospital.  The Chief of Staff talked about the emotional toll the virus has taken on staff at the hospital as they treat more patients as ever.  “We’re not used to people dying so frequently,” he told the TV station. He added that, “now younger people are starting to pass away in our hospital.”:

Two months ago, the Sheriff of Merced County posted a Facebook message saying he refused to enforce the state’s orders because they meant “economic slaughter” and he believed government had no right to tell him or anyone else it was too risky to get a haircut or dental checkup. Two months later, cases are spiking in Merced County and the sheriff has changed his tune, telling those in the county to “wear your masks, do your social distancing, wash your hands. … Please take it seriously.”


MESSAGE FROM MERCED COUNTY SHERIFF VERN WARNKE REGARDING JULY 4TH COVID-19 RESTRICTIONSSheriff Vern Warnke would like to keep the public informed on updated information regarding the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) within Merced County. Please check out the attached video briefing from Sheriff Vern Warnke regarding this weekend’s July 4th park closures.

Posted by Merced County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, July 2, 2020

You have likely seen someone mention Sweden a time or two in Facebook comments over the past couple of months and demanding we do the same as they are doing (which is very little to prevent the spread of coronavirus).  So how’s that going for them? Thousands more people have died than in neighboring countries that imposed lockdowns and Sweden’s economy has fared little better. “They literally gained nothing,” an economist told the LA Times. “It’s a self-inflicted wound, and they have no economic gains.”

Tuesday, President Donald Trump continued with his baffling stance to pretend as if there isn’t a terrible virus spreading out of control and to just hope that it will magically go away.  While speaking about schools reopening, he stated, “everybody wants it” and that he would “put pressure on governors” to open classrooms. He did not offer any details about how he would protect students, teachers, or, well anyone as, at this point, he appears to care much more about protecting confederate statues than keeping your family safe:

Contact tracing is vital to controlling the spread of COVID-19.  “Unfortunately, in many cases, the person who is contacted is not providing the information that is being sought,” the director of Riverside County Public Health said in a press release. “This information is critical as we work to slow and eventually stop the spread of coronavirus. It is understandable that patients may be reluctant to discuss sensitive issues, but it is very important that this information is provided.” If you are contacted by a contact tracer, the Riverside County Health Department asks that you please cooperate with them.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved two Lysol products – Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist – as effective against coronavirus when used on hard, non-porous surfaces. Laboratory testing found both products kill the virus two minutes after contact.

Researchers at a Florida University studied which non-surgical masks are most effective in protecting the people around you.  What they found was that a single-layer bandanna performed the worst, with respiratory droplets still traveling more than 3.5 feet and lingering in the air. The best option was found to be the homemade two-layer mask made of quilting cotton, a more densely woven fabric. Droplets traveled up and down from the inside, but only 2.5 inches forward.

Information was released this weekend about the companies that received over $150,000 in PPP loans across the nation, including the Coachella Valley.  You probably heard a thing or two about Kanye and hedge funds getting loans and, for those wondering how the federal funds were distributed around the country, state, and the desert, a rather large spreadsheet can be downloaded here.


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.