With 188 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, Riverside County health officials reported its largest single-day spike since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. There were no virus-related deaths over the holiday weekend, records show.
As of Sunday evening, the county had 1,619 cases and 41 deaths. A total of 194 residents have recovered from the novel virus, according to officials.
Over the holiday weekend, county officials permitted residents to partake in drive-in religious services as long as they practiced “proper social distancing” this weekend only. Brooke Federico, the county’s public information officer, said a couple of churches participated in drive-in services, but many religious leaders encouraged their members to stay home.
Riverside County medical personnel help each other with their protective gear at a drive-though coronavirus testing facility for Coachella Valley residents in Indian Wells on March 24. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Medical staff carry patients’ belongings during evacuation at the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, where 39 people tested positive for the coronavirus, on April 7. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Gurpreet Singh, left, and Balwinder Sidhu deliver meal boxes at a food distribution organized by United Sikh Mission and the Sikh Community of Riverside at Sikh Gurdwara. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)
Patients are removed from the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside on April 7 after five employees and 34 patients tested positive for the coronavirus and staff failed to show up to work. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Erick Borjas uses an electrostatic disinfectant to clean the surgical ward of a medical facility in Riverside County on April 15. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters who want the public health orders rescinded, rally at the County Administrative Center where the Riverside County Board of Supervisors were meeting in Riverside. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Residents who want public health orders rescinded attend an emergency meeting of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors at the County Administrative Center in Riverside. Type written notes are placed on chairs to keep people from sitting near each other. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Traveling nurse Gail Cunningham waves thanks as residents pay tribute to her and her medical personnel during a drive-by rally honoring frontline heroes at the Emergency Room entrance to Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Jesus Duenas practices his slack lining while his brother Alfred Duenas, left, does strength exercises at Fairmount Park in Riverside. They live together and said the trees help keep them 6-feet apart from anyone walking by. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Javon Jones of the Antioch Church sings gospel hymns during a livestreamed Easter worship on Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside. For only the third time in 111 years, Easter service atop Mt. Rubidoux was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 27, 2020: Norm and Tracy Kahn enjoy eating dinner outside on a small cafe table sitting in blue chairs on their side yard during the coronavirus pandemic on April 27, 2020 in Riverside, California. ‘During this pandemic, eating outside offers us an opportunity to change surrounding and appreciate the calmness of being outdoors among trees, scents from nature and the sounds of birds, “ she said. Also adding, “Mixing up where we eat puts variety into our days and takes away the sameness of feeling trapped at home.” (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times) (Gina Ferazzi/Gina Ferazzi/Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Small business owner Ana Lee of Riverside created “Community Over Covid” posters for neighbors to place of their front lawns during the coronavirus pandemic. “I thought it would be uplifting,” she said on April 10. “With so many people home and taking walks in their own neighborhoods but not being able to be physically proximate to other families, the signs are a visual reminder, that neighborly wave, that we are a strong community.” (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Neighbors gather to sing “Amazing Grace” on Easter Sunday on Emerson Street, a quiet cul-de-sac in Riverside, whose mayor, Rusty Bailey, had asked residents to come out of their homes to sing at noon. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
The Stowe family in Riverside held a role-reversal prom after a nephew’s prom was canceled because of the coronavirus. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
After celebrating their nephew’s canceled prom via a video feed, the Stowe family greets neighbors in Riverside while practicing social distancing. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
At least 30 patients and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Extended Care Hospital of Riverside, a skilled nursing facility. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
A Palm Springs resident finds the serenity of a closed golf course the perfect place for afternoon reading during the coronavirus pandemic at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs. All the golf courses are closed in the desert communities. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Shopping carts block off the parking area in front of a Best Buy store in Rancho Mirage that was open for curbside pickup only during the coronavirus pandemic on April 2. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Restaurant owner Lisa Weaver takes a to-go order from a resident at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit during the coronavirus pandemic on April 3 in Rancho Mirage. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Adeline Hernandez, 2, of Riverside seems perplexed by the yellow caution tape as she approaches the closed-off swing sets at Ryan Bonaminio Park in Riverside on April 3. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Wearing a cat mask, Chani Beeman of Riverside shows off a roll of toilet paper she got as a bonus with her takeout order from Mario’s Place in downtown Riverside on April 3. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Freddy Torres of Buena Park gets some target practice in at Riverside Indoor Shooting Range on March 31. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Customers wait in line to buy guns at Warrior One Guns and Ammo during the coronavirus pandemic in Riverside on March 31. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was more than double the number from the previous Sunday, records show.
On Friday, Chuck Washington, a member of the county’s Board of Supervisors, pleaded for people to stay away from Idyllwild, which received about 5 to 6 inches of snow over the last week, according to the National Weather Service.
Nearby Pine-Cove, which is higher in elevation, had about 12 to 18 inches of snowfall, an unusually large amount for the month of April, forecaster Matt Moreland said Monday.
But Washington, who represents Idyllwild on the board, posted a video on Twitter asking for tourists to “save the snow visits for next year.”
“I understand that families who have been isolated for weeks want to entertain their kids, but we are in the middle of a public health crisis,” he said. “We can’t risk families exposing themselves and the residents of Idyllwild to COVID-19 just for a snow trip.”
Washington said his office had received several complaints from concerned residents in recent weeks about tourists visiting the area despite the county’s strict stay-at-home order. Idyllwild, a community of about 2,500 people, does not have enough resources or medical services to provide for both residents and travelers, he said.
Those who violate the county’s ban on public and private gatherings of any size could be fined up to $1,000 or face imprisonment, a statement from Washington’s office said. Last week, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said he didn’t plan to ticket residents, rather he said the department would focus on educating the public on the county’s public safety order.
All short-term-lodging facilities, including hotels, short-term rentals and vacation rentals, have been instructed to restrict business until June 19, operating only if needed to support the coronavirus response, health officials announced last week.
Grace Han, a manager at an Idyllwild restaurant, said she had noticed an increase in foot traffic over the holiday weekend.
After Washington “made that announcement, we have seen an influx of people that walk in and order to go, and they’re usually not locals,” Han, manager at Mile High Cafe, said. The restaurant has been accepting take-out orders and providing delivery within three miles of its location since the stay-at-home order was put in place.
“This weekend there was a lot of snow and people want to visit,” she said. But residents have complained that visitors have been trying to ride sleds on their property or trespassing to shovel snow into their pickups. Complaints have been rife on Facebook, she said.
Han said she and husband Jason, managers for three years of the restaurant, which is owned by his mother, had been struggling to figure out how to remain open and keep their employees working.
Still — although she empathizes with tourists who may have cabin fever — she said it was unsafe to visit Idyllwild at this time.
“Idllywild is largely a retirement community,” she said. “There is no hospital here. [And] what we have for medical staff is so limited, so it’s so dangerous.”