The three reported COVID-19 cases in Idyllwild-Pine Cove has not increased since April 6, according to the Riverside University Health System (RUHS) website. The first confirmed case in the area was April 3. 

As of May 5, Riverside County has 4,454 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There are 184 deaths related to COVID-19 and 1,997 people have recovered. There are 215 individuals being hospitalized and of those 75 are in ICU.

As of April 28 at 3 p.m., Riverside County had 3,735 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those, 141 people had died and 1,303 people had recovered. Two-hundred-twenty individuals were being hospitalized and of those 73 were 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.

Courtesy Riverside University Public Health (

To date, 58,878 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 is encouraging seniors to run their air conditioners as temperatures reach triple digits. The county said that those who reach out to Office of Aging will be able to receive assistance in paying for their utility bills. The cooling centers are not open due to restrictions imposed by efforts to decrease the spread of COVID-19. Seniors are also encouraged to call 2-1-1 if they are without an air conditioner to see if assistance can be provided.  

For those needing to connect with food resources, visit and select “Food Access” at the top right for a county map directing you to food pantries, senior and school meals. 

For those in need of behavioral health assistance, you may utilize a computer and smartphone app called You may also 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).

Riverside County launched an economic recovery task force that is expected to be in place for 18 months to provide recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on restarting the local economy.

“Representing each of the five supervisorial districts and regions of the county, the task force draws upon the established business expertise and resources from local chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus, industry leaders and public sector partners,” a press release from the county stated. “County staff members from the Economic Development Department and Transportation and Land Management Agency will work alongside the task force to support the critically important objectives of the task force.”

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 working to revise the guidance for clarification, but the revision was not received by press time and may be addressed at the Friday, May 8 special Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting. 

The county is 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. 

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. 


The order for social distancing and wearing a face covering was extended through June 19. Beginning May 1, the county will follow Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Stay-at-Home order as it pertains to gatherings. The press release issued by the county reads: “The governor’s order states that all California residents must stay home unless they are engaged in an essential business or activity, such as grocery shopping or visiting the doctor.

“The governor’s order does not have an expiration date. As soon as the governor releases the Stay-at-Home order, Riverside County will be ready to move into the governor’s second phase of reopening businesses.” 

“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

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 (state testing site) location are encouraged to use the website for appointments but may use the above-mentioned phone number. 

More state testing sites are operational in Riverside County. To make an appointment, visit or call 888-634-1123. Testing is available for everyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status, and is no cost to the resident, according to the May 5 press release. The eight additional state testing locations are in Perris (two), Norco, Mecca, Riverside, Beaumont, Desert Hot Springs and Hemet. 

“Testing is a top priority of Riverside County and the State of California, and I am pleased with this incredible partnership with the state to expand testing,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “I am particularly glad we will have testing sites in Desert Hot Springs and Mecca, two communities with high need and essential workers on the front lines. Testing is for everyone, regardless of immigration status, and it is free. I encourage everyone to make an appointment, get tested and help our county and state continue to make progress on this crucial aspect of our coronavirus efforts.”

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. It was stated during the Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting on May 5 that the Lake Elsinore and Perris locations have same day appointments available. The Indio and Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside locations have appointments available beginning May 8. 

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

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 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 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. Contact information is on page A4.

Idyllwild Water District: The district’s office is closed to the public.

Lake Hemet Campground: Day use and RV camping as of May 1. Check for guidelines. 

Pine Cove Water District: The district’s office is closed.  

Riverside County offices: Most county buildings are closed to in-person visits. County government will continue to provide services. 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 for a list of closures. 

Please read the rest of this story on our website at 

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 and Manzanita Cantina and Grill are closed until further notice. Café Aroma will reopen May 8.

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. Visit the district website ( 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/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 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/walk-thru type of meal service. 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.