As COVID-19 testing increases in Riverside County, so does the number of confirmed cases, but that is expected. As of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, there were 371 confirmed cases (up from 59 last week) and 13 deaths (up from six last week) related to COVID-19. There are no confirmed cases in the area of Idyllwild-Pine Cove. The age range with the largest number of confirmed cases is 40 to 64, according to the county’s COVID-19 website. Thirty individuals have recovered. 

When asked how many tests have been conducted county-wide Riverside University Health System – Public Health Public Information Officer Brooke Federico responded Saturday: “We don’t have the commercial lab information, which is when someone goes to their doctor to get tested from a Quest [Diagnostics] lab or LabCorp. We only know when a test comes back positive from these sources, not overall testing numbers. 

“However, from the county side, we have tested more than 3,000 people. That includes the two drive-up locations and the county health clinics.” 

We also noticed there are no confirmed cases for the Idyllwild-Pine Cove communities on the county’s COVID-19 website. “Most of the unincorporated areas in the beginning were grouped to the nearest city,” Federico wrote in an email on Monday. “We’re working on getting it updated as best as possible with some of the unincorporated areas broken out, however, for some of our smaller unincorporated areas it can be a matter of patient privacy to not separate them. I’ll check the status of the Idyllwild area and let you know.” The website now has cases broken down by area including the mountain communities of Anza and Idyllwild-Pine Cove. 

How many tests can each drive-up testing site administer daily? Federico responded Monday: “On the community testing sites, the Lake Elsinore site tests around 300 people a day. The Coachella Valley location, which will be moved to Indio [Fairgrounds] tomorrow [Tuesday], tests around 120-150 people a day.” 

One of the deaths was a 25-year-old pharmacy technician who resided in La Quinta. 

“Health officials said the individual was exposed to COVID-19 outside Riverside County and was in self-quarantine in La Quinta when he died,” according to Friday’s press release. “The current [as of March 27] eight deaths in Riverside County had been residents older than 70 and most had underlying health conditions. The pharmacy technician had no underlying health issues.”

Residents may still call 800-945-6171 to make an appointment over the phone for testing at the Coachella Valley and the just added Harvest Christian Fellowship church site in Riverside. Those seeking tests at the Lake Elsinore location are encouraged to use the website https://www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19/ for appointments but may use the above-mentioned phone number. You must have symptoms and an appointment to show up to the drive-up test sites. Some of the symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose or congestion. Those who have risk of exposure may also be tested, which means exposure to a confirmed case.

Hemet Global Medical Center opened the first private COVID-19 drive-up testing site in Riverside County Tuesday. You can make an appointment by calling 951-765-4757. 

The Idyllwild local who exhibited COVID-19 symptoms and contacted the county for testing received negative results.

Local entities update

Fern Valley Water District: The office is closed to the public. 

Idyllwild Community Center: ICC has closed all of its programs (including sports, senior fitness and childcare) for the time being.

Idyllwild Fire Protection District: The front office is closed to the general public, but all administrative operations will stay the same, such as building permits and inspections. The district is operating business as usual. When responding to calls where patients exhibit COVID-19 and flu-like symptoms, personnel will be using personal protective equipment. The patient will be handed a mask to put on themselves and personnel will then evaluate the patient in the back of the ambulance. If personnel need to go inside a residence, they will limit the length of time they are inside. 

Idyllwild Garden Club: The April 7 kick-off meeting is canceled. 

Idyllwild HELP Center and Thrift store: The thrift store is closed until April 30 and not accepting donations at this time. The office will remain open for client services and food/supply donations from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Thursday by appointment only. This is subject to change.

Idyllwild Library: The library is closed to the public through April 30. All online services are still up and running. Staff are available for Live Chat or Ask a Librarian reference from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday through the Riverside County Library System website at http://www.rivlib.info. Branches are currently not answering phones. All books currently checked out are being automatically renewed through at least April 30. 

Idyllwild Pharmacy: Contact the pharmacy at 961-659-2135 or by sending an email to idyllwildpharmacy@verizon.net to request prescriptions or over-the-counter items. Please allow 48 hours to process requests. Pick-ups will be made in the parking lot only. Check the Idyllwild Pharmacy Facebook page for updates. 

Idyllwild Town Crier: The newspaper is still open, but our office is closed to the public. Printing, faxing and all in-person services are on hold until our office can reopen. For advertising information, contact Lisa Streeter (lisa@towncrier.com) or Mandy Johnson (mandy@towncrier.com) and for editorial questions contact Melissa Diaz Hernandez (melissa@towncrier.com). We’re answering the main phone line at 951-659-2145 during regular business hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Newspapers will be available to purchase from a newsstand at our office at 54405 N. Circle Dr.

Idyllwild Water District: The district’s office is open to the public by appointment only. 

Pine Cove Property Owners Association: The April meeting is canceled. 

Pine Cove Water District: The district’s office is open but staff is limiting contact and asking customers to put payments through the door. 

Riverside County offices: Most county buildings are closed to in-person visits. County government will continue to perform the vital services relied upon by residents and visitors. Visit county department websites, or call for assistance on how to complete requests online, over the phone or through the mail. 

Riverside CountyParks: Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District (RivCoParks) closed recreation facilities, nature centers, historic sites, parks headquarters, open-space areas and regional parks to the public. 

State parks: All campgrounds, museums and visitors centers are closed and all events are canceled until further notice. Some parks are closed, including parking. All vehicle access is closed for all remaining parks. 

Grocery store supplier delivery schedules

(There have been delivery delays, so please be patient.)

Fairway Market: Dry goods, meats, deli, frozen food, paper goods and candy are delivered on Tuesdays. Wine, FritoLay and eggs are delivered on Wednesdays. Meats, bread, milk and organic foods are delivered on Fridays. Produce is delivered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Village Market: Produce is delivered Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Meat is delivered on Wednesdays and Fridays. Everything else is delivered on Fridays.

Restaurants

(Note: This is information received as of press time.)

Café Aroma is offering a 10% local discount. Ferro is doing to-go orders only. Idyllwild Brewpub is doing to-go orders only. Tommy’s Kitchen has created a pre-order menu that will offer meals that can easily be heated in the oven. Orders will be available for pick-up. Restaurant Gastrognome is closed until further notice. 

All the following restaurants and food purveyors will be doing to-go orders: Candy Cupboard, Fratello’s, Idy Sushi Roll, Idyllwild Ice Cream & Jerky, Idyllwild Pizza Company, La Casita, The Lumber Mill, Mamma Mia Crepes & Desserts, Manzanita Cantina & Grill, Mile High Café, Mountain Center Cafe and The Red Kettle. (Businesses not listed could not be reached by press time.) 

Schools

Idyllwild Arts Academy: Students returned home. Virtual instruction begins across four continents in April. 

Hemet Unified School District: (Information updated as of press time.) 

The county has ordered schools to be shut down through April 30. This closure includes all extra-curricular activities, afterschool programs and district-sponsored events during this time. Visit the district website (https://www.hemetusd.org/) for updates.  

Instruction 

HUSD is providing guidance with supplementary resources, digital and non-digital (work packets that can be picked up with the lunch/breakfast), that can be used at home to review and reinforce knowledge and skills learned this school year. Students and families will not be required to use these resources but are welcome to do so. Visit hemetlearnstogether.org.

Nutrition

During district closure, Nutrition Services will provide breakfast and lunch meals free of charge to children 18 years of age and under. Breakfast and lunch will be served at the same time Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at certain locations from 11 a.m. to noon. It is a drive/walk-thru type of meal service. According to Principal Matt Kraemer, Idyllwild School will be providing breakfast and lunch meals from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For those driving, HUSD asks that you stay in your car and bagged meals will be provided for each child present. If you have students at multiple schools, you only need to visit one location. Children need to be present to get their meals.