CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Daily Digest

22 Jun 2020
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Happy Monday, everyone. I’d like to start off the week, to use that old cliché, by tooting our own horn and shining a spotlight on two recent Independent stories. The first one, posted at CVIndependent.com earlier today, looks at the fact that thousands of Coachella Valley families lack reliable internet access—which presents big problems, especially in the middle of a pandemic, when students can’t go to physical schools. “These are the families and the students who can least afford for their children not to be engaged, (which could) ultimately widen the achievement gap,” said local Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “Someone called this a civil rights issue—because without (broadband), you are severely disadvantaged.” In addition to Garcia, staff writer Kevin Fitzgerald talked to all three local school…
19 Jun 2020
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Happy Juneteenth, everyone. Here’s today’s news: • Gov Gavin Newsom said today that he intends for the statewide face-coverings order to be persuasive—but didn’t rule out punishment, via the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. “We’re not looking to fine people. We’re looking to educate people, encourage people,” Newsom said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “And to the extent that people flaunt and abuse, which may be the exception, then we have many tools in the tool kit.” • It’s a good thing the state is willing to find ways to enforce the ordinance if needed. Later in that article, the Orange County sheriff said he didn’t think it was the job of law enforcement to make…
18 Jun 2020
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It’s now the law: Californians must wear face coverings while they’re in public. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the mandate—something this newspaper called on the governor to do two days ago—earlier today, as confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. More people are hospitalized in Riverside County—which rescinded a mask order on May 9—and the Coachella Valley with COVID-19 than ever before. The number of hospitalizations in Riverside County rose by almost 11 percent in one day, to 285, as of yesterday. In the Coachella Valley, also as of yesterday, the three hospitals reported 108 COVID-19 patients, up from a previous all-time high of 103 the day before. The statewide order replaces a patchwork mess of local orders—some cities and counties required masks, while others…
17 Jun 2020
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In yesterday’s Daily Digest, I mentioned that I’d ask Riverside County officials about the alarmingly high COVID-19 positivity rate, as reported on the county’s latest weekly District 4 report. (District 4 consists of the Coachella Valley and extends over to Blythe.) To repeat what I wrote yesterday: “The positivity rate is up to a disturbing 16 percent. However … if you divide the number of positives (345) by the number of tests (4,840), you get the positivity rate—and while the report explains that there’s a lag because tests results can take 3-5 days to come in, the difference between 345 divided by 4,840, or 7.1 percent, and 16 percent is so massive that it doesn’t seem possible for all these numbers to be correct; it’s…
16 Jun 2020
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It’s time for Gov. Gavin Newsom and, if possible, the California Legislature to make the usage of face masks mandatory. It’s time. We see what’s happening in other states—most notably our neighbors to the east—where hospitalizations continue to skyrocket. We also keep seeing science come out showing how stunningly effective the use of simple face masks can be in slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. What else are we seeing? We’re seeing concerning local upticks in hospitalizations. We’re seeing local business owners—trying so hard to do the right thing—upset after influxes of customers, many of whom are from out of town, wandering in without wearing masks, in violation of local mask mandates. We’re seeing local health officials fleeing from their jobs due to public and political…
15 Jun 2020
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Happy Monday, everyone. We have more than 20 story links today, so let’s get right to ’em: • It was a big news day for the U.S. Supreme Court. In a landmark 6-3 ruling, the court ruled that gay, lesbian and transgender workers are protected by federal civil-rights laws—and Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch (!) wrote the majority opinion. The court also more or less upheld California’s sanctuary law by declining to hear a challenge to it. • This just in, from the city of Palm Springs: “In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, continue to flatten the curve and keep residents and visitors safe, the city of Palm Springs would like to notify the community that this year’s Fourth of July fireworks spectacular…
12 Jun 2020
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Happy Friday, everyone. I have to warn you that today’s Daily Digest is pretty depressing … so proceed with caution. I am sorry to send you off into the weekend with such concerning news, but that’s my job—so here we go. Today’s news: • My friends, I beg of you: Please take precautions against COVID-19. As more and more of the Coachella Valley reopens, the numbers are getting worse and worse. The number of COVID-19 patients at Eisenhower Medical Center as of Wednesday is nearly twice as high as it had ever been before an uptick in cases began there around the start of the month. • Horrifyingly related: The Los Angeles Times reports that some people are so opposed to the idea of wearing…
11 Jun 2020
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10,000. That’s the milestone Riverside County reached today—the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. It’s a sad milestone, and it’s not the last sad milestone we’re going to hit before this pandemic is over. Folks, there are so many things in life we can’t control. However, there’s a lot regarding this pandemic we can control—and you know what those things are: Wearing a mask when around other people. Washing your hands frequently. Staying home if you may be sick. Do it. Today’s links: • Speaking of people not doing what they can control: During Las Vegas’ reopening week, Los Angeles Times writer Arash Markazi saw some people taking precautions … and a whole lot of people not doing so. He said the Cosmopolitan was especially bad:…