Riverside County official to tourists: Save snow visits to Idyllwild for next year

A Riverside County official on Friday pleaded for tourists to stay away from Idyllwild-Pine Cove as residents expressed concern that the town does not have enough resources for them and any visitors to the resort community.

“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. We can’t risk families exposing themselves and the residents of Idyllwild to COVID-19 just for a snow trip,” said Chuck Washington, who represents the popular resort town of about 2,500 people on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Washington said his office has heard from “numerous” locals worried that the town does not have sufficient medical services.

As of Saturday, Riverside County has reported three cases of COVID-19 in Idyllwild-Pine Cove, none of them fatal. The county has confirmed a total of at least 1,350 cases and 39 deaths.

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.

Short-term lodging, including rentals, timeshares, hotels and motels, have also been prohibited until June 19.

The public can report violations by sending an email to DOCLiaisonOfficer@rivco.org, calling 951-351-6866, visiting www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus or using the RivCoMobile app.

“This is a tough time for all of us, but if we all work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, we can save lives,” Washington said.