The number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase throughout Riverside County. Riverside University Health System (RUHS) is still reporting three confirmed COVID-19 cases for Idyllwild-Pine Cove as of April 28. The number has not increased since April 6. The first confirmed case in Idyllwild-Pine Cove was April 3.
As of April 28 at 3 p.m., Riverside County has 3,735 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those, 141 people have died and 1,303 people have recovered. Two-hundred-twenty individuals are being hospitalized and of those 73 are in ICU.
As of April 21 at 1 p.m., Riverside County had 2,960 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Ninety-three people had died and 757 people had recovered. Two-hundred-forty individuals were being hospitalized and of those 72 were in ICU.
As of April 14 at 1 p.m., Riverside County had 1,961 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Fifty people had died and 376 people had recovered.
To date, 45,417 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Riverside County, according to RUHS. The age range with the most confirmed cases in the county is still those between the ages of 40 and 64.
Riverside County Public Health is encouraging seniors who live in the Coachella Valley to run their air conditioners as temperatures reach triple digits. The county said that those who reach out to the Office of Aging will be able to receive assistance in paying for their utility bills.
According to the press release, “The cooling centers generally kick off June 1, but these sites are not prepared for an earlier opening, in part, because of the current response to coronavirus and the existing restrictions on public gatherings and social distancing requirements.
“Seniors who have no air conditioning at home can call 2-1-1 and see if there is other assistance that could provide relief from the heat.”
For those needing to connect with food resources, visit https://rivcoph.org/coronavirus and select “Food Access” at the top right for a county map directing you to food pantries, senior and school meals.
As of last week, there is now behavioral health assistance via computer and smartphone app called TakeMyHand.co. In a press release issued last week, the county encouraged anyone experiencing a behavioral health crisis to immediately contact 2-1-1 or call the behavioral health CARES line at 800-706-7500. A 24/7 free, confidential crisis or suicide intervention service can be reached at 951-686-HELP (4357).
The county is allowing limited access to community pools as of April 24. The pools can only have one swimmer at a time and no groups around. If a child is using the pool, an adult can be present to supervise.
The county is now allowing drive-up religious services to occur. The order was amended April 17. The county asks that social distancing be maintained, people stay in their vehicles and do not interact with others. The county had previously allowed drive-up services for Easter weekend only.
As of Monday, April 20, the county is allowing non-contact outdoor activities (with restrictions) such as: golf, tennis, equestrian activities, hiking, biking and pickleball in a revised order that had previously closed golf courses to aid in containing the spread of COVID-19.
Under this revised order, social distancing must be maintained and face coverings must be worn at all times. Large gatherings are prohibited until June 20. The county still prohibits the use of picnic tables, playgrounds, team sports or other similar public events and gatherings, according to the April 20 press release. Additional restrictions for golf include: Play shall be limited to foursomes that will be required to observe social distancing (six feet separation between players at all times) and no caddies.
The County of Riverside announced last week that it received $431 million from the federal government under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The press release reads: “The funding will cover costs that are necessary to respond to the ongoing public health emergency related to novel coronavirus.
“The funding cannot be used to cover projected revenue losses, such as loss of property tax revenue or sales tax revenue.”
An order was issued by the county’s Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser stating that people could be fined or arrested for congregating of any size in public and not wearing a face covering. This order runs through April 30 but may be extended. It is uncertain as of press time.
“This is a valid order and enforceable by fine, imprisonment or both,” said Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco in a message he posted on social media. “However, I need to make it perfectly clear to all residents of Riverside County. We will not be setting up any type of police state and this is not a declaration of martial law in Riverside County. Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies will not be stopping vehicles or setting checkpoints for motorists. We will not be stopping you while on a walk with your kids or while you’re out running or hiking.”
If you see nonessential businesses operating at this time, you are able to report them to the county. Complaints should be made to [email protected], 951-351-6866 or RivCoMobile App. The county asks that you have detailed information on the location. The county also banned short-term lodging until June 19 unless it is being used to contain and mitigate COVID-19.
COVID-19 testing has been expanded to those without symptoms.
Residents need to call 800-945-6171 to make an appointment over the phone for testing at all five locations — Coachella Valley, Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside, Perris Fairgrounds, Blythe Fairgrounds and Lake Elsinore. 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.
The newspaper reached out to county health to find out how far out appointments were being made before we went to print a few weeks ago. Several people contacted the newspaper saying it was taking two weeks to get tested. We still have not heard back.
Hemet Global Medical Center opened the first private COVID-19 drive-up testing site in Riverside County. You can make an appointment by calling 951-765-4757.
Local entities update
ARF: The annual Paws for Rhythm and Brews craft beer festival has been canceled. The event was set to take place early June.
Fern Valley Water District: The office is closed to the public.
Idyllwild 5k/10k: This year’s race has been canceled. Next year’s race has been scheduled for June 12, 2021.
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 HELP Center and Thrift store: Check their Facebook page for updates.
Idyllwild Library: The library is closed to the public. 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 June 7 and will continue to be renewed as needed so no late fees incur. The library is not accepting any book returns and will not accept any items left on the curb.
Idyllwild Pharmacy: Contact the pharmacy at 961-659-2135 or by sending an email to [email protected] to request prescriptions or over-the-counter items. Check the Idyllwild Pharmacy Facebook page for updates on hours.
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 ([email protected]) or Mandy Johnson ([email protected]) and for editorial questions contact Melissa Diaz Hernandez ([email protected]). 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. and at Village and Fairway markets.
Idyllwild Water District: The district’s office is closed to the public.
Pine Cove Water District: The district’s office is closed.
Pine Cove Property Owners Association: The May meeting has been canceled.
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 County Parks: Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District (RivCoParks) did a limited re-opening of parks under last week’s Riverside County Public Health orders. Parking lots are now open to support activities in regional parks and on trails. Social distancing and face coverings are still required when out in the public. Guests may not use playgrounds, picnic tables, nor play team sports, participate in gatherings or any public events. Regional parks and open-space areas are open for day use, however sports parks, nature centers and historic sites remain closed to the public. Parks and trails will continue to be monitored for compliance and if areas are inundated with people and distancing cannot be maintained, the need for closures will be reevaluated.
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. Visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve for a list of closures.
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 but will be Thursday this week. 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.
Restaurant Gastrognome, Café Aroma and Manzanita Cantina and Grill are closed until further notice.
All the following restaurants and food purveyors will be doing to-go orders: Coyote Red’s, Candy Cupboard, Ferro, Fratello’s, Idyllwild Brewpub, Idy Sushi Roll, Idyllwild Ice Cream & Jerky, Idyllwild Pizza Company, La Casita, The Lumber Mill, Tommy’s Kitchen, Mamma Mia Crepes & Desserts, Manzanita Cantina & Grill, Mile High Cafe, Mountain Center Cafe and The Red Kettle.
Charter Communications began offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days on March 16 to households with K-12 and/or college students. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
Hemet Unified School District:
The county has ordered schools to be shut down through June 19. 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.
Hemet Unified School District is providing guidance with supplementary resources, digital and non-digital (work packets that can be picked up with the lunch and breakfast — see below), 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. Teachers have now set up video conferencing software to communicate with students for distance learning.
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 Wednesdays only from 9-10:30 a.m. You will receive 10 meals (breakfast and lunch) per child for the week. It is a drive-up or walk-thru type of meal service. For those driving, HUSD asks that you stay in your car and a box of 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.