An overwhelming number of the businesses we’ve talked to are eager to re-open. Despite some of the negative labels being hurled about, these people aren’t all denying science, nor are they all putting profit over health. These are entrepreneurs, independent contractors, and small business owners who have spent lifetimes building their businesses, brands, or skills. They are ready to do whatever it takes to keep their customers and employees safe while also putting food on their tables. By and large, they are Main Street.

Leaders at every level of government have struggled with setting reopening guidelines. In order to ensure safety to the degree possible, Governor Newsom has some fairly stringent requirements in place. Riverside County has outpaced the rest of the state in testing. Additionally, in part by abiding by strict social distancing measures, the County has also avoided overwhelming our healthcare systems. Avoiding such a nightmare scenario was the intention of flattening the curve.

Best practices regarding social distancing and mask-wearing have increasingly become a part of our daily routines. Now, while still paying close attention to mitigation and protecting public health, we are looking towards a desperately needed economic recovery.

Accurate Numbers are a Must

In government, as in business, good data is needed to make good decisions. In order to pace reopening and recovery appropriately, County and State leaders need to see high percentages of our population tested, and relatively low percentages of those tests come back positive. This helps inform our leaders in more ways than one. Critically, ongoing testing is the only way to identify areas where the virus’ spread is slowing or gaining speed. And, more testing can confirm the flattening of the curve necessary to allow us to begin to reopen in a safe and measured way.

How can you help support local businesses? Many of you have been doing it all along by making sure to buy local (when it’s been possible) and by patronizing locally-owned restaurants. Now, you can support an even broader range of local businesses by getting tested, even if you have no symptoms. There are multiple sites in the Coachella Valley, and the test won’t cost you any money.

Where to Get a Free Test

There are several locations where Riverside County is conducting tests for the novel coronavirus in the Coachella Valley: they are mapped on the County’s Public Health website. Please schedule an appointment.

There is also a Coachella Valley testing location operated by the State of California. It is located at

  • 12-800 West Arroyo in Desert Hot Springs (Lozano Community Center). 888.634.1123 or visit this website.

You may also contact:

  • Desert Aids Project 760.992.0407
  • Eisenhower Medical Center & Clinics 760.837.8988

Choose the site most convenient for you, though we are told that the process to schedule an appointment on the State’s testing website is more difficult than simply calling in.

As a region, the Coachella Valley continues to do an outstanding job maintaining social distancing protocols and supporting one another. By increasing our testing rates, we can demonstrate to the State once again that we are willing to work together to support health, well-being, and the economy.