Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Wednesday, July 15

(📸: 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 Wednesday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 227,371 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.  890 people have been reported positive since Friday
  • 577 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. This number includes 24 people reported dead in the last 24 hours.  This is the highest number of people reported dead in a 24-hour period. 

Here’s the latest from the Coachella Valley:

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

  • 21,469 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 Wednesday, the State of California has confirmed:

      • 353,562 people have official tested positive for COVID-19.
      • 7,352 people are confirmed to have died in the state of CA from the coronavirus.

Before we get to the updates, a quick note.  Those stats above…well, they are awful and devastating.  24 people in our county — 13 in the Coachella Valley — were reported dead over the last day.  More than 137,000 people have died in this country of the virus since February.  These were mothers and grandfathers and friends and neighbors and, well, people.  The longer this thing goes on, try your best not to become numb to all of the sickness and death.  Stay smart.  Stay safe.  Wear a mask. And hold those who have failed us accountable. 

Now the updates:

The Atlantic looks at why COVID-19 hospitalizations rose through the end of June while deaths did not.  And their reason is simple: It takes a while for people to die of COVID-19 and for those deaths to be reported to authorities…and now, sadly, they believe the second coronavirus death surge is coming.

About 8,000 inmates are due to be released early from state prisons under the governor’s penal system coronavirus mitigation plan.  This includes 500 in Riverside County, according to the Desert Sun, which could cause issues for the county’s probation department.  “We’ve got things to work on and prepare for,” the county’s chief probation officer told the newspaper. “We need additional funding to manage the surge.”

California this week closed (again) indoor operations at restaurants, bars, gyms, and other sectors, including churches.  Some congregations, such as the 412 Church in Murrieta, had been defying the states orders and not enforcing social distancing or facial coverings. The church’s pastor told the Press Enterprise they plan to continue doing so.  “We’re seeing these mandates coming from the governor with numbers that really don’t make sense,” he told the paper, adding that the surge in infected patients, he believes, is because of increased testing and more sick people coming from Mexico. “I don’t know what (Newsom’s) endgame is here and what he’s trying to accomplish.”

Another California pastor refusing to obey the state’s orders proclaimed he is running for governor this past weekend.  “People have more faith in a virus spreading than they do the power of God,” he told his Placer County congregation during Sunday’s sermon. “They have more faith in the false prophet of our day — the fake media — than they do in the spirit of Elijah.”

Just a few weeks ago, officials were asking Californians to get tested, even if they didn’t show symptoms.  Now the state has revamped its guidelines for COVID-19 testing to focus on those in hospitals or considered at high risk of infection as the surging pandemic strains testing capacity. The state health department on Tuesday released a four-tier priority system for testing. Those hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms top the list along with “close contacts” of those with infections. Next in line are those living in high-risk facilities such as nursing homes, prisons and homeless shelters, along with health care and emergency service workers. The third tier includes workers in retail, manufacturing, food services, agriculture, public transportation and education.  The fourth would be everyone else.

Over 137,000 Americans are dead from the coronavirus, hospitals are filling up to the max, people are losing their jobs, and unable to pay their rent…and, with all that going on, the President of the United States posted this on Wednesday:

But, it appears that most Americans are over this shit:

The 2021 Rose Parade won’t be happening due to the coronavirus pandemic.  It’s  first time since World War II the parade won’t be happening.  In a statement, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association said the decision about the New Year’s Day event was made “with reluctance and tremendous disappointment” and in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Phase 4 reopening schedule.

The Desert Sun reports that a lot of people from the city are finding escape to Coachella Valley short-term rentals. “We get a lot of people working remotely who just want a change of scenery or a place with a pool,” a property manager told the newspaper. “We get families who have been feeling cooped up, and want to get away.”


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.