A total of five cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Idyllwild-Pine Cove area, according to the Riverside University Health System (RUHS) website. The first reported case for the area was on April 3. 

Image courtesy of Riverside University Health System - Public Health

Riverside County gave the following response when asked how many of the five people infected with COVID-19 have recovered: “The recovery data is collected without noting city. At this point, that information is not available.”

As of press time May 27, Riverside County has 7,252 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There are 306 deaths related to COVID-19 and 4,297 people have recovered. There are 207 individuals being hospitalized and of those 68 are in ICU.

As of press time May 19, Riverside County had 6,053 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 270 deaths related to COVID-19 and 3,871 people had recovered. There were 195 individuals being hospitalized and of those 68 were in ICU.

As of press time May 12, Riverside County had 5,248 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 225 deaths related to COVID-19 and 2,911 people had recovered. There were 185 individuals being hospitalized and of those 69 were in ICU.

To date, 108,862 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 qualified for the state’s accelerated stage 2 reopening at 2 p.m. Friday, May 22, according to the office of Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, who represents the Idyllwild area. 

The following were able to reopen: destination retail stores, including shopping malls and swap meets; dine-in restaurants; and schools with modifications. 

Riverside County wants to remind everyone that the local health order prohibiting primary schools for grades K-12 is still in effect until June 19.

  “This is a huge success for the county and our local businesses that Riverside County was approved for regional variance by the California Department of Public Health,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “That means that Riverside County is now in the accelerated stage 2.5 in the state’s reopening plan, and we can safely reopen shopping centers and restaurants for dining in, all with modifications. While we are excited to move into stage 2.5, and we look forward to the state allowing more sectors of the economy to open in the coming days and weeks, I emphasize that we can’t let our guard down when it comes to protecting ourselves and our communities from the coronavirus.”

“The governor on Monday announced the expansion of the avenues of eligibility for counties to accelerate business reopening in a phased approach,” a press release issued by the county states. “The governor’s announcement follows a letter sent by Riverside County along with other Southern California counties that comprise over a quarter of the state’s population seeking consideration of criteria to make urban counties eligible for regional variances.”

Visit www.RivCoBiz.org for modifications and other measures encouraged by the county to keep employees, customers and clients safe. 

Houses of worship are now open but state guidelines indicate that attendees should be limited to 25% of normal room occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

The California Department of Public Health announced earlier this week that counties that have qualified for accelerated reopening may reopen hair salons and barbershops with modifications such as mandatory face coverings for both barbers or stylists and clients.

Salon activities that are still prohibited at this time are shaving, facial waxing, threading, eyelash services and facials. 

According to the state’s covid19.ca.gov website at press time, the following are not permitted to operate at this time:

Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios

Hospitality services, such as bars, wineries, tasting rooms and lounges

Entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling, arcade venues, pro sports, indoor museums, gallery spaces, and zoos

Community centers, public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas

Cultural ceremonies


Concert venues

Live audience sports


Theme parks

Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism

Staying cool during the Stay-at-Home order

Riverside County is encouraging seniors 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. 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.  

Food assistance

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. 

The County of Riverside created the Courtesy Pantry program to serve seniors and adults with disabilities who are unable to get food for themselves at this time. This program is available to those 60 years of age and over and adults with disabilities. You must live in Riverside County. Call 800-510-2020 to see if you qualify. 

Riverside County is asking restaurants to participate in the “Great Plates Delivered” program aimed at providing meals for at-risk seniors who are limiting their exposure to COVID-19 by staying home. Restaurants are encouraged to provide their own delivery (drivers must pass a background check paid for by the restaurant). If you think you are eligible to receive delivered meals, contact the county’s office of aging.

Restaurants must be in good standing with Environmental Health Restaurant Grade and become a vendor with the County of Riverside. Visit https://www.rcaging.org/COVID-19/Great-Plates-Delivered-Program for further details. 

Behavioral health

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

Economic Recovery Task Force

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. Idyllwild local Stephanie Yost has been added to the task force. 

“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.”

Fraud alert

Riverside County sent out the following warning to those who receive cash aid, CalFresh and Medi-Cal benefits: “State and county public social services officials are warning about a fake letter circulating on social media that falsely claims customers must be tested for COVID-19 to continue receiving benefits such as cash aid, CalFresh and Medi-Cal.”

Anyone with helpful information about the source of the letter is asked to contact CDSS at 916-651-8848 or [email protected]

If you need to apply for benefits such as cash aid, food and medical assistance, visit C4Yourself.com or call the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Customer Service Center at 877-410-8827.

COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 testing has been expanded to those without symptoms and the county is encouraging teens and young adults to get tested. 

Residents need to call 800-945-6171 to make an appointment over the phone for testing at all five drive-up 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 https://www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19/ for appointments but may use the above-mentioned phone number. In addition to the drive-up testing sites mentioned above, there are now four county walk-up testing sites. They are located at Crossword Christian Church in Moreno Valley, Cathedral City Public Library, Corona Senior Citizens Center and 790 S. State St. in San Jacinto. These sites operate Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

More state testing sites are operational in Riverside County. To make an appointment, visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting 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 nine additional state testing locations are in Perris (two), Norco, Mecca, Riverside, Beaumont, Desert Hot Springs, Temecula (walk-up site) and Hemet. 

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. 

Fern Creek Medical Center in Idyllwild now offers a COVID-19 antibody test.

Local entities update

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

Hemet Unified School District: Visit hemetusd.org for the Learning Environment Survey for Fall Semester 2020-21. The district is asking families to complete a survey for suitable learning environments for their child(ren).

Idyllwild Area Historical Society: This year’s Home Tour is canceled. 

Idyllwild Community Center: ICC has closed all of its programs (including sports, senior fitness and childcare) for the time being. The food distribution program is still occurring, and the Farmers Market will be back up and running Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning this Sunday, May 30 at Town Hall, 25925 Cedar Street. 

Idyllwild Fire Protection District: The front office will reopen to the public beginning June 1. 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. Book donations have been suspended until the library reopens. 

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 Shuttle: The current schedule is as follows: Door-to-Door service from Pine Cove to Mountain Center is provided Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is transportation to Palm Desert and Palm Springs on Mondays via Mountain Center. Transportation to Hemet via Mountain Center is provided on Wednesdays. To get transportation to the food share at Mountain Center on Thursdays, meet at the HELP Center at noon. Reservations are required. Call 951-426-9688 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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 Idyllwild Pharmacy, Miss Sunshine’s General Store and at Village and Fairway markets.

Idyllwild Water District: The district’s office is open to the public with one person in the office at a time to limit exposure to COVID-19. 

Pine Cove Water District: The district’s office is closed to the public but planning to reopen on Monday, June 1. Call 951-659-2675 for updates.  

Riverside County offices: Visit county department websites or call for updates and 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) Regional parks, trails and open-space areas are open for day-use activities, including fishing. Sports parks, nature centers, event centers and historic sites remain closed to the public. 

State parks: Visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve for a list of closures. Online learning resources are also available for K-12 students. 

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.


Manzanita Cantina & Grill and Tommy’s Kitchen are closed until further notice. 

All the following restaurants and food purveyors will be doing to-go orders: Café Aroma, 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, Mamma Mia Crepes & Desserts, Mile High Cafe, Mountain Center Cafe, Restaurant Gastrognome and The Red Kettle. Some restaurants allow customers to order food and sit at outside patio tables to eat.