As of press time, the area of Idyllwild-Pine Cove still had a total of six reported cases of COVID-19, according to the Riverside University Health System (RUHS) website. The first reported case for the area was on April 3. The fifth case was reported on May 18. No deaths have been reported for the area since the outbreak. 

Riverside County is unable to provide how many of the six people infected with COVID-19 have recovered. “The recovery data is collected without noting city,” wrote a representative from the county in an email. “At this point, that information is not available.”

As of press time June 9, Riverside County has 9,590 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There are 365 deaths related to COVID-19 and 5,466 people have recovered. There are 220 individuals being hospitalized and of those 71 are in the intensive care unit (ICU).

As of press time June 2, Riverside County had 8,155 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 342 deaths related to COVID-19 and 4,804 people had recovered. There were 203 individuals being hospitalized and of those 62 were in the ICU.

As of press time May 27, Riverside County had 7,139 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 303 deaths related to COVID-19 and 4,285 people had recovered. There were 193 individuals being hospitalized and of those 63 were in the ICU.

To date, 140,709 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.  

Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside County Public Health, stated the following during a recent press conference: “During the pandemic, communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus nationally in both cases and deaths. We have also been monitoring this in Riverside County.

“While we are not seeing the same levels of COVID-19 disparities as have been reported elsewhere, we at public health have seen the health disparities that have taken the toll on communities of color show up in higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and low infant birth weight. These are issues created by a system that discriminates against a segment of the population and has taken generations to get us to where we are now. This must change.” 

The public health department is moving to improve the health of all Riverside County residents. 

Check out the flyer for information on grants available to small businesses. 
Flyer courtesy of Riverside County


Riverside County qualified for the state’s accelerated stage 2 reopening May 22. The following are able to reopen: destination retail stores including shopping malls and swap meets, dine-in restaurants, casinos, hair salons and barber shops and schools with modifications. 

Counties that are approved to progress further into the Resilience Roadmap created by the state may open the following industries. However, they are strongly encouraged to wait until June 12. Those industries are: 

Family entertainment centers

Restaurants, wineries and bars

Zoos and museums

Gyms and fitness centers

Hotels (for tourism and individual travel)

Cardrooms and racetracks

Campgrounds and outdoor recreation

Movie theaters (25% capacity or no more than 100 attendees)

For more information on state guidance, visit

As a reminder from the county: The local health order prohibiting primary schools for grades K-12 is still in effect until June 19.

Investment property owners, who rent single occupancy residences for short-term stays in Riverside County, are able to begin renting them out again. However, some cities may have implemented further restrictions. 

The Riverside County guidance includes the following: 

Rentals allowed in private homes where the guest rents the entire home and does not share any common areas with others. Home-sharing is not allowed.

No events or group gatherings are permitted until approved by the State of California. Only guests registered for the home should be on premise.  

Complete a deep cleaning after each rental, using products and protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Ensure a 24-hour reservation gap between when a guest departs and a new arrival.  

Visit 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.

Staying cool 

Riverside County opened 13 cooling centers on June 1, including centers in Banning and Palm Springs, with modifications to accommodate coronavirus safety guidelines. Those utilizing the centers will be asked to wear a face covering and social distance. The cooling centers are coordinated by the Community Action Partnership of Riverside County, in conjunction with Riverside University Health System – Public Health. The cooling centers are located in schools, senior and community centers. Light refreshments and water will be available at some locations, according to the press release.

For a list of cooling center locations, visit

Food assistance

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. 

Nutrition services provided by Hemet Unified School District will continue through June 24. Breakfast and lunch meals are provided 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 10 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.

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 951-867-3895 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. Visit for further details. 

Behavioral health

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).

COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 testing is available for those with or without symptoms. 

Residents need to call 800-945-6171 to make an appointment over the phone for drive-up testing. Visit for a list of the testing sites. There are 16 testing sites in Riverside County. The county is sending out a mobile testing unit. It was mentioned during a press conference that one would be coming up to the Idyllwild area. 

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. 

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.

Idyllwild Area Historical Society: This year’s Home Tour is canceled, and the museum remains closed. 

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. The Farmers Market is back Sundays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. outside at Town Hall, 25925 Cedar Street. 

Idyllwild Fire Protection District: The front office is now open to the public. 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 Fourth of July Parade: The parade has been canceled. 

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 early July 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. See story on the front page for more details. 

Idyllwild Pharmacy: The pharmacy is open. A face mask is required. 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. If you are utilizing the shuttle, a face mask and hand sanitation is required. Off-Hill transportation is for medical appointments only. 

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 the new Town Crier office at 54391 Village Center Drive Suite #5, 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. 

Pine Cove Water District: The district’s office is open. Masks are required. 

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 camping (RVs and tents) with restrictions and day-use activities, including fishing. Sports parks, nature centers, event centers and historic sites remain closed to the public. 

State parks: Visit for updated information. Online learning resources are also available for K-12 students. 


All the following restaurants and food purveyors are open for take-out and some have reopened for dining-in with social distancing and, in some cases, face mask requirements: Café Aroma, Coyote Red’s, Candy Cupboard, El Buen Cacao, Ferro, Fratello’s, Idyllwild Brewpub, Idy Sushi Roll, Idyllwild Ice Cream & Jerky, Idyllwild Pizza Company, La Casita, Mamma Mia Crepes & Desserts, Manzanita Cantina & Grill, Mile High Cafe, Mountain Center Cafe, Restaurant Gastrognome, The Lumber Mill, The Red Kettle and Tommy’s Kitchen.