The Idyllwild-Pine Cove area has one confirmed COVID-19 case as of 1 p.m. on April 3, according to the Riverside University Health System-Public Health website.

            The county also held a press conference at the same time the update was released to let people know the four things that need to happen to flatten the curve and prevent or significantly decrease the expected surge: test, cover your face with a bandanna or scarf when you leave your house, the closure of all non-essential businesses and places of gathering and enforcement.

            “In addition to staying home and washing our hands, we believe there are four more things that we can do to help slow down the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Geoff Leung. “They include covering the face, testing, closure of non-essential businesses and places of gathering and enforcement. With regard to covering the face, our Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser recommended on March 31 that all individuals in Riverside County wear a cover over the face whenever leaving the home. This newest recommendation is to help protect those around us and to decrease the spread of infection, especially now that we know that COVID-19 can be spread by asymptomatic individuals.”

            If those four things are not done, the county expects that by the beginning of May there will be 1,000 deaths and more than 11,000 people hospitalized, which is three to four times that of the current hospital capacity.

            “We have heard that California COVID-19 cases may be slowing down, but that is not what we are seeing in Riverside County,” said Leung during the April 3 press conference. “In Riverside County, our cases continue to rise exponentially and we have very little time to turn this around and prevent an impending surge. Despite all of our best efforts, we are still on track to have as many as 65,000 cases, over 11,000 hospitalizations and over 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 by the beginning of May. One thousand deaths is a lot of people.” This is in Riverside County alone.

            As of 1 p.m. on April 3, the county had 638 confirmed cases, 15 deaths with 50 individuals having recovered. The age range with the most confirmed cases is still those between the ages of 40 and 64. When the Town Crier went to press on Tuesday, March 31 there were 371 confirmed cases, 13 deaths and 30 recovered.

Enforcement          

            When it comes to enforcement, the county is trying to crack down on non-essential businesses still open to the public. Michelle DeArmond, chief of staff to Third District Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, said that county counsel is “working to prioritize complaints based on those that pose the greatest health and safety threat to the public, so the timeline varies depending on the type of business in question. For example, private schools and churches that have continued to operate have been targeted first as they attract large gatherings of people far exceeding the social distancing limitations.”

            Complaints should be made to DOCLiaisonOfficer@rivco.org or 951-351-6866.

            “The fastest way for people to get attention to their complaint is to go through that website and/or phone number,” said DeArmond. “They need to be prepared to provide detailed information on the location.”