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Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Daily Digest

22 May 2020
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Coachella Valley retail stores may now let customers in, and restaurants can reopen for dine-in service. Earlier this afternoon, Riverside County became the 45th of California’s 58 counties to get the state go-ahead to move further into Stage 2. When that fact is combined with today’s reopening of Morongo, Spotlight 29 and the two Agua Caliente casinos … it’s safe to say this is the most significant day the Coachella Valley has experienced during the reopening process, by far. However, it’s important to remember the news is not all positive. Riverside County announced another six deaths from COVID-19 had been reported in the last 24 hours; hospitalizations also ticked up in the last day. Within a week or so, total reported deaths in the United…
21 May 2020
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I have spent most of the last two days basically doing two things: 1. Getting everything ready to send the Independent’s June print edition to press. 2. Checking the state’s “Resilience Roadmap” page every 15 minutes for updates on the counties allowed to move further into Stage 2 of the reopening process—meaning stores can let customers inside, and restaurants can have dine-in customers. As of 6:45 p.m., 43 of the state’s 58 counties have been given the go-ahead … and Riverside County is NOT one of them, even though the county posted the paperwork to move ahead last Friday. This really could change at any time; San Joaquin County was added to the list since I started writing this, and about a half-dozen were added…
20 May 2020
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Let’s jump right into the news, some of which merits some discussion: • Yesterday, we mentioned that Riverside County COVID-19 hospitalizations had gone up almost 6 percent from Friday (184) to Tuesday (195). This fact is important for all sorts of reasons, one of which is the fact that “stable hospitalizations of COVID individuals on a 7-day average of daily percent change of less than 5 percent,” whatever that means, is one of the new criteria for counties to move further into Stage 2 of the reopening process. Well, according to today’s numbers, 189 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county—a drop of six yesterday. This means the county may meet this criterion. Although, seriously, I don’t know what “stable hospitalizations of COVID…
19 May 2020
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Yesterday, we reported that Gov. Newsom had asked casinos to kindly reconsider their reopening plans. The response? More casino reopening announcements—including word that Morongo and Spotlight 29 will be reopening their doors this Friday. Meanwhile … that curve is not as flat as we’d all like it to be in parts of Southern California. We mentioned yesterday that Gov. Newsom had revamped the state’s criteria for counties to move deeper into Stage 2—meaning retail stores could have customers inside of them, and restaurants could welcome dine-in customers. Riverside County representatives expressed optimism that we’d qualify. While the governor’s office made no announcements on that front today (at least as of our deadline) … one of the new criteria is: “stable hospitalizations of COVID individuals on…
18 May 2020
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Riverside County seems poised to move into the second part of the state’s Stage 2 reopening process—meaning people may soon be able to shop in stores, and dine in at restaurants. This news comes as a result of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement today that he’s revised the state’s somewhat odd reopening criteria—and that “roughly” 53 of the state’s 58 counties would soon qualify. Of course, he did not announce which of the 53 or so counties qualify. So I checked the state’s county-variance website for updates throughout the afternoon to see if Riverside County had qualified, and I got excited when the page with the list of counties crashed for about an hour. I thought maybe it was being updated … but that was not…
15 May 2020
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I’ve been asked several times why we don’t regularly post COVID-19 stats here in the Daily Digest, and the answer is simple: Statistics, when put in the proper context, are important and revealing. When they’re not, however … they can be confusing and misleading. Take the total number of COVID-19 cases, for example. As of this writing, according to Riverside County, there have been 5,618 confirmed cases in the county. Since the start of April, that number has been increasing at a pretty steady pace—there have been a few peaks and valleys, sure, but overall, the pace has been pretty consistent for the last six weeks now. So … what does this tell us? Well, it tells us SARS-CoV-2 is still a problem. But that’s…
14 May 2020
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In response to yesterday’s Daily Digest, I received this email from a reader, which is reprinted here, verbatim: Is your paper written by one person? Articles picked by you? Just curious as to where you’re from? Palm Springs? Just not sure if this is a PS newsletter? This made me realize that a lot of you are new to the Independent—and that even some of you who have been reading for a while may not know much about me or the newspaper, and/or where these Daily Digests fit into things. So, if you’ll indulge me, here are my answers to that reader’s questions (slightly expanded upon and edited from my personal response to the reader): Is your paper written by one person? No. The Independent…
13 May 2020
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Forgive the tortured metaphor here … but the reopening train has left the station. And I don’t think there’s anything this country can do to get it back in the station now—no matter how dire things get. Late this afternoon, the Wisconsin Supreme Court—in a disturbing 4-3 decision—struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order. The result is chaos: According to the Wisconsin State Journal, some counties have stepped in to issue their own orders, which remain valid. As for the other counties … “For now, it looks like businesses and restaurants in counties that have not prohibited opening may operate as they wish,” the story says. Closer to home, two Southern California casinos—Sycuan Casino Resort and the Valley View Casino and Hotel—just announced they’re reopening…