Hospitalization numbers continue to rise

As hospitalization numbers in Riverside County continue to rise, the area of Idyllwild-Pine Cove has an additional case of COVID-19, bringing the total to eight cases. Because Riverside County is unable to provide recovery data by area, it is unknown how many of the eight total cases are active since the area’s first reported case on April 3. 

Still, no deaths have been reported for the area since the outbreak. 

As of press time on June 30, Riverside County has 17,296 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There are 457 deaths related to COVID-19 and 7,854 people have recovered. There are 403 individuals being hospitalized and of those 109 are in the intensive care unit (ICU).

When asked about the status of hospital occupancy on Monday, June 29, Jose Arballo Jr., senior public information specialist for Riverside University Health System-Public Health (RUHS) responded: “ICU beds capacity is at 98%. Overall, beds in the county is at 63%. Regular beds can be converted to ICU beds if needed.” On Monday, June 29, there were 365 individuals being hospitalized and of those 106 were in the ICU. 

As of press time on June 23, Riverside County had 13,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 424 deaths related to COVID-19 and 6,895 people had recovered. There were 298 individuals being hospitalized and of those 87 were in the 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.

To date, 230,892 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Riverside County, according to RUHS. The age range with the most confirmed cases is now the 18 to 39 age group. 

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. 

Beginning, Monday June 29 through Aug. 31, sole proprietors and those small businesses that received the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan or advance are now eligible for the second round of funding (up to $10,000) provided to small businesses that have been impacted during the coronavirus pandemic, the county explained in a press release. “The first round of funding for the small business program resulted in $7.3 million that will be distributed to 738 small businesses in Riverside County.” 

The county has expanded the grant program to further assist those with small businesses.   Flyer courtesy of Riverside County

Funding is limited and not available to “businesses that have received federal funding through the Paycheck Protection Program. Awardees must also develop and implement a safe reopening plan that addresses employee and customer health prior to disbursement.” 

For information on how to apply, visit, and for questions, email [email protected] or call 951-955-0493.

COVID-19 testing

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 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 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 June 22. 


Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser ordered the closing of all bars as of Tuesday, June 30 after Gov. Gavin Newsom recommended the closure of bars over the weekend in seven counties included on the state’s watch list. Bars had been allowed to reopen on June 12. 

“Restaurants, pubs and breweries that offer dine-in services may still offer alcoholic drinks, but only in the same transaction as a meal,” the press release issued Monday, June 29 explains. “If a bar offers meals, they are required to comply with the same industry guidance as restaurants. 

“In Riverside County, officials with the Department of Environmental Health will enforce the closure order, starting with reaching out to all impacted bars, pubs, breweries and restaurants to explain the order and impacts to their operations. Officials said they believe most bars will comply with the order, but those who do not may face additional action.”

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, zoos and museums, gyms and fitness centers, hotels (for tourism and individual travel), cardrooms and racetracks, campgrounds and outdoor recreation, and movie theaters. 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. As a reminder, youth sports are still not permitted. 

For more information on state guidance, visit Visit for modifications and other measures encouraged by the county to keep employees, customers and clients safe. 

Staying cool 

Riverside County opened cooling centers on June 1 with modifications to accommodate coronavirus safety guidelines. 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. 

The county recently announced, “Social services officials are encouraging qualified Riverside County households with children to apply for a one-time Pandemic-EBT food benefit before the application period closes on July 15.” Applications must be made online at

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 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).

Local entities update

Fern Valley Water District: The office is still 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. The express service hours for Idyllwild Library are Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon. 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

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 Summer Concert Series: The outdoor musical series is on hold through July, pending changes to state and county recommendations for such gatherings.

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 and at Village and Fairway markets, Mountain Top Liquor, the Idyllwild Chevron and Shell stations, and Lake Hemet Market.

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 for updated information. Online learning resources are also available for K-12 students.