Yesterday, we reported that Gov. Newsom had asked casinos to kindly reconsider their reopening plans.
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 a 7-day average of daily percent change of less than 5 percent OR no more than 20 COVID hospitalizations on any single day in the past 14 days.”
Well, here’s the stat line over the last three days in Riverside County for the number of reported COVID-19 hospitalizations:
While there’s a lot these numbers don’t tell us, they do tell us that since Friday, the total number of hospitalizations is up by 11, or 5.978 percent. Which is more than 5 percent.
Imperial County’s two hospitals no longer are accepting additional COVID-19 patients after seeing a rise in cases overnight.
Adolphe Edward, CEO of the El Centro Regional Medical Center, announced Tuesday morning on Facebook Live that the county’s emergency rooms are on “divert”—meaning ambulances will take patients elsewhere if they have the coronavirus. Emergency rooms at the El Centro hospital and Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley remain open for walk-ins and illnesses other than the virus, he said.
“We want to make sure we don’t overwhelm either one of the hospitals and overwhelm the system with COVID patients to the point that we can’t take care of you,” Edward said on the Facebook video.
As the reopening process continues—and it’s continuing whether you think it should or not—we all need to take precautions, because COVID-19 remains a very real danger.
• Wear. A. Damn. Mask. Yet more research indicates that masks—surgical-grade, in this case, but still—can drastically cut down on coronavirus transmission.
• From the Independent: For the latest installment in our Pandemic Stories series, I spoke to three local restaurant-delivery-app drivers about what it’s like for them during this “new normal.” While access to bathrooms for these drivers is down, business is up. Unfortunately, so is racism.
• While this will be the quietest Memorial Day weekend in the Coachella Valley in decades, it won’t be completely dead. First: A bunch of downtown Palm Springs retailers have joined forces to celebrate their socially distanced, curbside-pickup reopenings this weekend—and they’re donating 10 percent of sales to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.
• Second, downtown PS breakfast mainstay Cheeky’s is reopening for takeout on Saturday and Sunday, and they’re offering a pancake breakfast—with all the proceeds going to the great local businesses that are part of Keep Shining Palm Springs. Get the details here.
• The Trump administration plans on ending the deployments of more than 40,000 National Guard members who are helping with all sorts of pandemic-related tasks across the country, from stocking food banks to assisting at testing sites, on June 24. It turns out that’s the day before they’d qualify for GI Bill benefits. Yes, really.
• The pandemic has apparently killed off another already-teetering retail chain: So long, Pier 1.
• However, it’ll apparently take more than a pandemic to kill off buffet-chain mainstay Golden Corral. While there are no valley locations, a lot of us know about Golden Corral (for better or for worse)—and in places where they’re allowed to reopen, they’re reopening.
• As businesses reopen, one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining social distancing guidelines involves their bathrooms. The Washington Post explains.
• One of the biggest challenges for schools that want to reopen come fall: They need more space. The Conversation breaks it down.
• The Intercept reports that as scientists try to nail down concrete information on SARS-CoV-2’s origins—knowledge that could help us battle the damn virus—the Trump administration, shall we say, is being less than helpful.
• If you’ve recovered from COVID-19, the state wants you to donate your plasma.
• The Oscars could be postponed or even cancelled in 2021. While Variety got the scoop, Esquire brings the snark regarding the matter.
• Did you know air traffic has increased a whopping 123 percent in the last month? Really, it has. However, that means it’s back to 9 percent of what it normally is. The New York Times points out that now more than ever, we need to be careful about how people try to spin statistics, because what we’re going through is so completely unprecedented.
• Interesting: A person who had the OG horrifying coronavirus—SARS—back in 2003 has antibodies that are battling the current coronavirus. Live Science explains what this may mean for treatments going forward.
• Finally, for your viewing pleasure, John Krasinski’s Some Good News is back with a final episode before it goes on hiatus.
• And Randy Rainbow is also back, this time with a chat with the president … and DISTRACTION!
That’s the news for the day. Wash your hands. Wear. A. Mask. If you own a local business, consider our $199 advertising special; the deadline for the June print edition is this week! If you can afford to support independent, local journalism, including this Daily Digest, please consider doing so; learn more about becoming a Supporter of the Independent here. Back tomorrow.