The first reported COVID-19 case for the area of Idyllwild-Pine Cove was on April 3. According to the Riverside University Health System (RUHS) website, the area has seven cases of COVID-19 as of press time. No deaths have been reported for the area since the outbreak.
Riverside County is unable to provide recovery data by area. It is unknown at this time how many of the seven cases are still active.
The county tested 162 people for COVID-19 last Tuesday, June 16 at a one-day COVID-19 mobile testing site at the Idyllwild Library.
As of press time on June 23, Riverside County has 14,431 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There are 431 deaths related to COVID-19 and 7,009 people have recovered. There are 315 individuals being hospitalized and of those 90 are in the intensive care unit (ICU).
As of press time on June 16, Riverside County had 11,285 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 384 deaths related to COVID-19 and 6,100 people had recovered. There were 228 individuals being hospitalized and of those 70 were in the ICU.
As of press time June 9, Riverside County had 9,590 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 365 deaths related to COVID-19 and 5,466 people had recovered. There were 220 individuals being hospitalized and of those 71 were in the ICU.
To date, 193,954 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Riverside County, according to RUHS. The age range with the most confirmed cases in the county had been those between the ages of 40 and 64. However, the 18- to 39-year-old age group has caught up.
The county is urging residents and visitors to follow the state’s face covering requirement in common and public indoor spaces and outdoors when distancing is not possible. In addition to covering your face, the county also urges everyone to keep 6 feet of distance and wash their hands. The county says that the requirement will “support local reopening efforts.” The county is on the state’s COVID-19 watch list due to the increase of case numbers and hospitalizations. Riverside County is also assisting other areas that are experiencing a surge in cases.
“Imperial County hospitals continue to experience a large number of patients that overwhelm their hospital capacity,” wrote Bruce Barton, director of Emergency Management Department, in a statement Friday. “Under the statewide mutual aid system, Riverside County is working with local hospitals, surrounding counties, as well as state and federal agencies to provide care to patients in need.
“In the last seven days there have been nine patients transported from Imperial County hospitals and another seven who drove themselves to Riverside County hospitals. Currently, there are 10 patients from Imperial County hospitalized in Riverside County.
“In addition, the governor has not ordered Riverside County to take in patients from other counties. This is being done as part of the statewide mutual aid system.” The patients from outside the county do not impact the county’s case numbers but do impact the hospitalization numbers.
Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside County Public Health, spoke about the health disparities within Riverside County at a recent press conference: “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.” According to the RUHS website, Hispanics/Latinos have at least double the amount of cases per 100,000 of other ethnic and racial groups.
COVID-19 testing is available for those with or without symptoms. Testing is free and available for everyone.
Residents need to call 800-945-6171 to make an appointment over the phone for drive-up testing. Visit https://www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus/testing for a list of the testing sites. There are 16 testing sites in Riverside County.
State testing sites are also operational in Riverside County. To make an appointment, visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123.
Fern Creek Medical Center in Idyllwild offers a COVID-19 antibody test.
The county will be randomly selecting 3,500 residents and asking them to take part in a coronavirus antibody testing study. “The study will help determine the Riverside County prevalence of COVID-19, which will be used to inform planning efforts. Potential participants will be contacted by telephone or email starting later this week,” according to the press release issued Monday.
Riverside County has been able to reopen the following: houses of worship and cultural ceremonies with modifications, investment properties for short-term rentals, destination retail stores including shopping malls and swap meets, dine-in restaurants, casinos, hair salons and barber shops, schools with modifications, 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, and movie theaters (25% capacity or no more than 100 attendees). The following reopened Friday, June 19: nail services, facial and aesthetician services, massage therapy services, body art, tattoo and piercing services, and shaving, waxing and threading services.
For more information on state guidance, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/. Visit www.RivCoBiz.org for modifications and other measures encouraged by the county to keep employees, customers and clients safe.
Riverside County residents can apply for rental assistance beginning June 15 (closes June 25) at UnitedLift.org or by calling 2-1-1. Applications are available in English and Spanish. After the June application window, applications will be open every month for a 10-day period to November.
Riverside County opened cooling centers on June 1 with modifications to accommodate coronavirus safety guidelines. For a list of cooling center locations, visit www.capriverside.org.
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.
Riverside County 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 https://www.rcaging.org/COVID-19/Great-Plates-Delivered-Program for further details.
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).
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.
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 open for express service only. See story on A6 for more details. 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.
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 office is open to the public Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For advertising information, contact Lisa Streeter ([email protected]) or Mandy Johnson ([email protected]) and for editorial questions contact Melissa Diaz Hernandez ([email protected]). Newspapers will be available to purchase from the new Town Crier office at 54391 Village Center Drive Suite #5, Idyllwild Pharmacy, Mountain Center and Pine Cove markets, 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 to the public.
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.
State parks: Visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve for updated information. Online learning resources are also available for K-12 students.