Riverside County is still in the orange tier of the state’s tier system. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently stated the state would open up June 15 if “vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated” and hospitalization numbers remain low. He also said the June 15 date would be revisited, if needed.
Hemet Valley Mall will be the next county vaccine clinic starting Wednesday, May 5 and will operate from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Hemet Unified School District’s (HUSD) Alessandro High School will serve as a clinic until Friday, May 7.
“We are so thankful to the Hemet Unified School District for allowing us to use several of their campus sites for vaccine clinics,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of public health. “The district has stepped up when asked and been a great community partner and continues to do so.”
The newspaper asked HUSD why it was serving as a vaccination site. The district never responded.
The county advised seniors and their caregivers last week to “never give out financial information to callers, websites or emailers who insist the data is required to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.”
“Riverside County does not ask residents to pay for vaccinations or vaccination appointments,” said Jewel Lee, director of Office on Aging. “Scammers are preying on seniors and at-risk adults who are seeking services during the pandemic recovery.”
If you think you have been targeted, call the Adult Protective Services (APS) hotline at 800-491-7123.
“In Riverside County, one scam involves a caller asking the person to pay or provide financial information to schedule or reschedule an appointment,” the county wrote. “Another uses a phone number that appears to be a Riverside County line.”
If you book your own appointment at a county-run clinic, you “will be asked to provide basic personal information” and possibly your Social Security number.
“Safeguarding our customers’ information to protect them is a priority,” said Todd Bellanca, assistant director of DPSS Adult Services. “All consumers should know who’s on the other end of a phone call or email before providing any information.”
For information on how to avoid a vaccine-related scam, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/04/covid-vaccines-are-free?utm_source=govdelivery.

According to the Riverside University Health System – Public Health (RUHS) website, the area of Idyllwild-Pine Cove has a total of 117 reported COVID-19 cases since the outbreak and two deaths reported. One hundred and fourteen of the 117 people have recovered.
As of press time on May 4, Riverside County has 298,777 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 4,574 deaths related to COVID-19 and 292,409 people have recovered. Sixty-eight individuals are being hospitalized, and of those, 17 are in the ICU. The county’s positivity rate is 1.9%. The current adjusted case rate per 100,000 is 3.4. The county is reporting that 32.5% of its population has received the full dose of the COVID-19 shot.
As of press time on April 27, Riverside County had 298,259 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 4,563 deaths related to COVID-19 and 291,748 people had recovered. Seventy-eight individuals were being hospitalized, and of those, 21 were in the ICU. The county’s positivity rate was 2.1%. The current adjusted case rate per 100,000 was 3.9. The county was reporting that 29.5% of its population had received the full dose of the COVID-19 shot.
As of press time on April 20, Riverside County had 297,620 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 4,547 deaths related to COVID-19 and 291,022 people had recovered. Eighty-two individuals were being hospitalized, and of those, 14 were in the ICU. The county’s positivity rate was 2.0%. The current adjusted case rate per 100,000 was 3.6. The county was reporting that 24.9% of its population had received the full dose of the COVID-19 shot.
To date, 2,961,578 total tests have been given for COVID-19 in Riverside County, according to RUHS. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Riverside County has an estimated population of 2.47 million. 
The CDC defines vaccine as “A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease. Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but can also be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose.”
For more information on the COVID-19 shot, visit www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine or call 2-1-1. Seniors can call the Riverside County Office on Aging at 800-510-2020. 
For rental assistance, visit https://www.unitedlift.org/. Supervisor Chuck Washington’s office let residents know “the program will provide one-time rental assistance support to cover up to 12 months of unpaid rent during the period between March 13, 2020, until the time of application, plus an additional three months of future rent. Eligibility is limited to renters in Riverside County with a current lease agreement who are earning 80% or below of the area’s median income and can document a loss of income due to COVID-19 economic impacts that leave them unable to make their rent. Assistance is provided without regard to immigration status.” 
The county announced the Business Assistance NOW Program to support “local businesses with occupancy permit assistance, financial resources, hiring and training, among other services. In addition, Riverside County’s Office of Economic Development business support team works closely with the county’s Transportation and Land Management Agency ombudsman to navigate the planning department, as well as building and safety department, to establish and grow a business in Riverside County.”
For more information, visit http://rivcobcs.org/business-assistance-now-program or call 951-955-0493.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) “will begin registrations on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 a.m. EDT and open applications on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon EDT for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.” It is a $28.6 billion fund.
“Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on main streets across the nation. They are among the businesses that have been hardest hit and need support to survive this pandemic. We want restaurants to know that help is here,” said Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “The SBA has focused on the marketplace realities of our food and beverage businesses in designing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to meet businesses where they are. And we are committed to equity to ensure our smaller and underserved businesses, which have suffered the most, can access this critical relief, recover, and grow more resilient.”
“This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location,” the press release reads. “Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023.”
Priority will be given to businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals for the first 21 days. 
Visit restaurants.sba.gov for more information and to register.     
For information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares. To contact the county of Riverside’s Business and Community Services department, call 951-955-0493 or send an email to [email protected] for local assistance. 
Visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) website at https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs, to become familiar with the laws and regulations pertaining to personal protective equipment, including what is mandatory with regards to respirators, etc.