As of press time, there are a total of 20 reported COVID-19 cases since the outbreak and one death reported for the area of Idyllwild-Pine Cove, according to the Riverside University Health System – Public Health (RUHS) website.
As of press time on Aug. 11, Riverside County has 43,376 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There are 824 deaths related to COVID-19 and 22,381 people have recovered. There are 358 individuals being hospitalized and of those 112 are in the intensive care unit (ICU). RUHS has the following note on its website: “Because of a statewide delay with data collection, the figures displayed for ‘confirmed’ COVID-19 cases, case rates, positivity rates, doubling time and number of tests do not accurately reflect the current situation.”
As of press time on Aug. 4, Riverside County had 38,487 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 738 deaths related to COVID-19 and 20,079 people had recovered. There were 424 individuals being hospitalized and of those 133 were in the ICU.
As of press time on July 28, Riverside County had 35,910 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There were 672 deaths related to COVID-19 and 12,489 people had recovered. There were 487 individuals being hospitalized and of those 143 were in the ICU.
To date, 414,376 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Riverside County, according to RUHS. The age range with the most confirmed cases is 18- to 39-year-olds. The two demographics with the highest number of cases are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino.
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.
COVID-19 testing is available for those with or without symptoms. Testing is free and available for everyone.
Residents can visit www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus/testing to schedule an appointment online or call 800-945-6171 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. to make an appointment over the phone for drive-up testing. Looking for a shorter wait time when calling to make an appointment? The county suggests calling between the hours of 5 and 10 p.m.
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.
HUSD will serve students lunch and breakfast at no charge for students enrolled at Hamilton School, Hamilton High School, Idyllwild School, Academy of Innovation and Hemet High. Details to follow.
The district will begin the school year fully online. Last week, the state provided guidance for a school waiver process for TK to sixth-grade education in counties on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list. The county’s Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser wrote the following in a letter to the county’s public and private schools last week: “Schools interested in applying should be aware that CDPH can also decline a waiver as part of state consultation, and based on conversations at the state level, until the State has a reliable case rate for the County and it is less than the 200/100K benchmark, the State will decline to accept waivers for Riverside County schools. This benchmark is based on the county as a whole; there is no state provision for waivers for regions within a county. Therefore, we will accept applications once the countywide case rate is reliable and below that threshold. In the meantime, distance education is permitted for all K-12 schools, and schools should encourage their communities to socially distance, wear facial coverings and avoid gatherings in order to facilitate sustained reductions in case rates.”
HUSD has provided some options for low-cost internet through Spectrum and Frontier on its Parent Resource Center website.
Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA) students will begin the 2020/21 school year Aug. 31 with distance learning. Students may be able to return to campus with fewer than 300 students starting Oct. 1 if the governor’s orders have changed.
As of press time, bars remain closed. Restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms must move business outdoors, and if unable, close once again. Restaurants and other businesses may still do takeout but are not permitted to have indoor dining. Restrictions have also been placed on the following: fitness centers and gyms, worship services, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, and malls. The county said that businesses may do curbside retail, as long as there are no indoor operations.
Youth sports are allowed as of Aug. 3 and can take place only when two criteria are met: physical/social distancing (6 feet) and a stable cohort, meaning that the team participants remain the same. Competitions, including games and tournaments, are not allowed, according to the county’s press release.
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.
Small business grant funding
Between now and 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.
Businesses that received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program are not eligible. For information on how to apply, visit https://rivcoccsd.org/covidbizhelp, and for questions, email [email protected] or call 951-955-0493.
Grants for artists
The Art Alliance of Idyllwild shared some additional grant information for artists. Nearly $1 million will be awarded in $1,000 grants to California artists through the California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners, a partnership between the California Arts Council and the Center for Cultural Innovation. The application deadline is Aug. 18. For more information, visit, https://www.cciarts.org/California_Relief_Fund.html.
Another program is CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund, Inc.). This provides a one-time $1,000 grant to artists working in craft disciplines who are facing food, housing and medical insecurities caused by the pandemic. Priority will be given to eligible artists who have traditionally been underserved by the grant-making community. The second filing round is from Aug. 19 to Sept 9. Visit https://cerfplus.org/cerf-covid-19-relief-grant/ for details.
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.
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
Art Walk & Wine Tasting: The event has been canceled.
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 open by appointment.
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 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. Call the day you need a ride. 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 has been canceled.
Idyllwild Town Crier: The office is open to the public by telephone only. 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 in front of 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 office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Pine Cove Water District: The office is closed to the public indefinitely. Staff is on site weekdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., but closed from noon-1 p.m.
Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival: This was scheduled for Feb. 12 to 21, 2021, and has been canceled.
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.