Coachella Valley coronavirus news and info | Monday, August 17

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 Monday, Riverside County officials have confirmed:

  • 47,490 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.  1,828 people have been reported positive since Friday.
  • 912 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus. The county reported 31 new deaths since Friday.

Here’s the latest from the Coachella Valley:

As of 4 pm Monday, San Bernardino County has confirmed:

  • 41,564 people have officially tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 568 people are confirmed to have died in the county from the coronavirus.

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

        • 629,414 people have official tested positive for COVID-19.
        • 11,296 people are confirmed to have died in the state of CA from the coronavirus.

Riverside County has sent a proposed plan to state officials to allow the county to reopen sectors of the economy that were forced to close for a second time after they botched the rollout earlier this year, including eliminating their own health department’s mask order.  Under the new plan, dine-in restaurants, wineries, breweries, places of worship, non-essential indoor offices, and “personal care businesses” (hair & nail salons, tattoo shops, etc.) would be allowed to reopen in accordance with state COVID-19 guidelines. A second phase, beginning September 22 would allow wedding receptions, group meetings, events, and indoor malls.  A third phase would begin on October 6 and would include gyms, bars, and movie theaters. The state has not replied to the county regarding the letter.

College of the Desert will celebrate the Class of 2020 with its first virtual commencement ceremony, which will go live this Wednesday.  To honor this year’s graduating class and their accomplishments, graduates were sent diplomas, complimentary caps, tassels, diploma covers, credentials and commemorative bumper stickers by mail over the summer. The Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony can be seen at anytime on, or after Wednesday.

Because getting through life during a pandemic isn’t tough enough, now we all have to deal with a scorching heatwave as well. High temperatures around the state has caused a shortage in the state’s electrical grid and Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said California will “very likely” experience intermittent outages through Wednesday evening. “Let me just make this crystal clear: We failed to predict and plan for these shortages and that is unacceptable,” Newsom said. He also announced he had signed an “emergency proclamation to free up energy capacity:

And speaking of the heat, here’s what to look out for in regards to heat stroke and when you should seek medical attention:

In an interview with CNN, Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the key members of the White House coronavirus task force, said that the U.S. lockdown should have looked like Italy’s. “I wish that when we went into lockdown, we looked like Italy,” she told the news channel. “But when Italy locked down, I mean, people weren’t allowed out of their houses, and they couldn’t come out but once every two weeks to buy groceries for one hour, and they had to have a certificate that said they were allowed.” Birx went on to say, “Americans don’t react well to that kind of prohibition.”

“We could fix it, you know. We could shut things down, and wear masks, and get enough tests to contact trace and isolate people—if we all worked together, the whole country, united in our goal of giving children what they need. If we did that, we could probably open schools in a few months, in person, safely. We would have to choose schools over bars; we’d have to think big. But if we had the appropriate federal resources and national leadership and shared priorities, we could make things right again.” – A doctor and mother of four writes “What We’ve Stolen From Our Kids” for the Atlantic.


The election is 77 days away:

  • You can register to vote here.  
  • Sign up for updates on your mail-in ballot here.
  • Sign up to be a poll worker in Riverside County here.

On that last bullet up there, A 2018 study from Pew Research Center showed the majority of U.S. poll workers, 58 percent, were over 60 years old.  They are at a high-risk group during the pandemic. If you can, consider being a poll worker. 


Stay cool.  Stay safe.  Wear a mask.

Thank you for your continued support of Cactus Hugs.

Anything we missed? Let us know about it.