April Covid-19


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Alerts

MARCH 2020   -   MAY 2020    -    JUNE 2020    -    JULY 2020


April 29, 2020

There are 35 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


Riverside County
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Clarification of local health officer orders

The County of Riverside issues the following clarification for today’s amended public health officer order:

The County’s current health order prohibiting gatherings outside the home expires April 30. Beginning May 1, the county will fall solely under the governor’s stay at home order as it pertains to gatherings. The governor’s order states that all California residents must stay home unless they are engaged in an essential business or activity, such as grocery shopping or visiting the doctor.

The governor’s order does not have an expiration date. As soon as the governor releases the stay at home order, Riverside County will be ready to move into the governor’s second phase of reopening businesses.

The newly amended health order continues to allow for certain recreational activities in Riverside County, including the use of trails and parks for hiking, biking and equestrian uses. Golf is also permitted in Riverside County with certain limitations.

This amended health order continues to require face coverings and a six-foot social distance through June 19.


April 29, 2020

There are 34 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

Riverside County
Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Health Officer orders amended; face coverings, social distancing continues
Governor Newsom’s stay at home executive order still in effect

Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser is extending his order requiring residents to wear face coverings when outside and to continue practicing social distancing through June 19. The county is also moving to fully align with the governor’s “stay-at-home” order until amended or rescinded.

Riverside County residents are still required to remain in their primary residence under Governor Newsom’s existing “stay at home” order unless they are engaged in an essential business or activity, such as grocery shopping or visiting the doctor. The governor’s order does not have an expiration date.

“While we work within the governor’s plan for re-opening the state, people must be mindful that COVID-19 has not been eliminated,” said Kaiser. “The new normal in Riverside County will still require social distancing, facial coverings and other precautions. Summer will only slow the virus, and we are already thinking about what will happen in the fall.”

Kaiser issued his orders as part of the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused more than 140 deaths and about 3,750 confirmed cases. The moves were necessary to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the illness, which threatened to severely impact the county’s health system. Prior orders included the closure of public and private golf courses in Riverside County, along with the prohibition of in-house and drive-up worship services.

Kaiser recently allowed golf courses to open – with various restrictions. The State of California later clarified that drive-up religious services could be permitted, although in-person services are still not allowed.

“Residents are answering the call to stay at home as much as possible, practice physical distancing and wearing a face covering to protect everyone. I thank you all for that,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “It is making a difference, and this progress is a credit to everybody doing their part and using the best tools that we have right now to overcome this pandemic. As we begin to turn the corner, it is important that we also flatten the unemployment curve and work towards economic and social recovery.”

Kaiser’s orders closing Riverside County schools and limiting short-term lodging until June 19 remain in effect.


Contact: Gene Kennedy
Senior Public Information Specialist
(951) 203-0343

Riverside County Offers Growing List of Food Resources
for Homebound Seniors 

The services are meant to help vulnerable seniors fight food insecurity during COVID-19 pandemic 

rivcosocialservicesFrom quick meals that can be picked up to food dropped off at homes, Riverside County is offering several free food options to disabled and vulnerable adults as stay-at-home orders continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adults who have a disability or are over age 60 can contact Riverside County Office on Aging, which offers food delivery for critical emergencies, two weeks supply of pantry and essential items, home-delivered meals, and Grab-and-Go meal packages at community center locations.

“We have a number of programs, depending on our callers’ needs and nutritional risk. We will tailor enrollment to any one or more of these important nutrition programs,” said Gary Robbins, Deputy Director for Programs and Operations with Office on Aging. “We’re averaging almost 1,200 calls a day at this point, and our requests for food have tripled. I’d encourage folks who want to find out more to visit the Office on Aging website or send us an email.”

Seniors or disabled adults can call 800-510-2020 or visit rcAging.org to determine their need for any one of the following service options:

  • Grab-and-Go Meals: Up to seven to 14 days of cooked and frozen meals ready for pick up
  • Courtesy Pantry: Two weeks supply of food delivered within five to seven days
  • Home-Delivered Meals: Up to seven to 14 days of delivered food with no contact for vulnerable adults
  • Emergency Meals: Up to three days of immediate food delivered to fragile adults and seniors

Details on Office on Aging’s program can be found at rcAging.org. Riverside County has also released a map showing where senior meals, school meals and food pantries are available.

To meet the growing need, the state of California is also launching a restaurant meal delivery program specifically for seniors who don’t qualify for other food assistance programs.

“I am very proud of the Riverside County Office on Aging, which has been leading a number of innovative programs and will soon have this new effort up and running to further support Riverside County’s senior population,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “This is a great program because it enhances food security and the senior safety net that provide service and dignity that all senior citizens in our community deserve. This program has many wins for our communities, it will help our seniors, our restaurants and taxi industry. We encourage any senior in need and any restaurant in our community that wishes to partner in this program to contact us.”


Office on Aging wants restaurants, especially those who deliver, to fill out a contact form or email rcaging@rivco.org if they want to participate in the program.

Once implemented, seniors will be able to select from preapproved restaurants, who will deliver a maximum of three meals a day to their homes. More details on the newly announced statewide program can be found here or at rcAging.org.



April 28, 2020

There are 31 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

Riverside County
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Job-seekers may apply for workforce assistance programs

25085323910_8e252f43c3_mCounty residents who lost employment because of the coronavirus epidemic may receive up to $800 in job loss benefits thanks to a $252,000 state grant received by the Riverside County Workforce Development Division.

“I am glad we have this additional resource from the State of California to assist job-seekers in Riverside County,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “This will support many people through the transition to new employment opportunities.”

The funding will help provide supportive services for job-seekers enrolled in the agency’s various workforce assistance programs. Eligible job-seekers will be eligible for up to $800 in financial support for:
• Housing assistance
• Utility assistance
• Telework equipment and internet access
• Childcare assistance
• Transportation assistance

Job-seekers who suffered a permanent job loss due to economic impacts of COVID-19 will be prioritized for assistance.

In addition to supportive services, jobseekers enrolled in the program will receive comprehensive workforce services which include: career coaching, paid training, on the job training and job placement. Services are offered in a variety of formats such as internet, email and telephone to facilitate remote access.

For more information on the supportive service program, please call 951-955-9742 or contact us via email at workforcehelp@rivco.org.


April 27, 2020

There are 28 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

Riverside County
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087


Confirmed cases of coronavirus increases in skilled nursing facilities 

Riverside County has more than 650 confirmed coronavirus cases among the patients and staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the county.

The majority of patient cases (414) are among 40 skilled nursing facilities spread throughout the county. There are 53 skilled nursing facilities in the county. In addition, 49 total patient cases are at 14 assisted living locations. There are hundreds of other long-term care facilities with varying levels of care provided. Riverside County has tested approximately 1,200 patients at these facilities. There are 211 staff members who have tested positive for coronavirus among skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

“We have known since the beginning of this response that congregate care facilities would provide one of the biggest challenges,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside County public health. “We responded to the challenge by forming our SOS teams who have reached out to most of our facilities to support their efforts. We also have teams that have helped out with some staffing when it was appropriate.”

The four SOS (Skilled Nursing Facilities + Outreach Support) teams consist of workers from American Medical Response, behavioral health and other healthcare partners who could be involved in patient care. The teams target specific regions – Northwest, Southwest, Central and Eastern – in the county and work with staff members at each facility to demonstrate proper safety techniques, provide proper safety gear and educate them about COVID-19 to dispel rumors and correct erroneous information.

“I am very proud of our county public health leadership and rapid coordinated efforts within our local skilled nursing facilities,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “In agreement with the Governor’s six principles, we must do all we can to provide care and protection to our most vulnerable. I also look forward to working with the state to ensure cost recovery for our heavily impacted budget.”

As of Sunday, the SOS teams have visited 144 facilities, and done follow up visits with 10. Rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes present a challenge for health officials due to the age and health conditions of the residents, as well as their close proximity to each other. The county prioritizes investigations in these facilities due to the high risk of serious illness that outbreaks pose.

Skilled nursing facilities are licensed by state regulators, but local health officials can offer support to maintain services.

Below is a list of skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities in Riverside County with confirmed cases of coronavirus. The county is using the same reporting guidelines by the California Department of Public Health. Facilities with more than 11 cases will have numbers posted on our website. Facilities with fewer than 11 cases, will be posted as <11 cases. 

1. Community Care and Rehabilitation Center, Riverside
    Patients – 87
    Staff – 48

2. Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Riverside
    Patients – 49
    Staff – 26 

3. Highland Springs Care Center, Beaumont
    Patients – 47
    Staff – 20 

4. Extended Care Hospital of Riverside
    Patients – 38
    Staff – 32 

5. Manorcare Health Services, Hemet
    Patients – 37
    Staff – 42 

6. Cypress Gardens Care Center, Riverside
    Patients – 31
    Staff – 15 

7. Ramona Rehabilitation and Post Acute Care Center, Hemet
    Patients – 22
    Staff – 11 

8. Valencia Gardens Health Care Center, Riverside
    Patients – 19
    Staff – <11 

9. The Palms at La Quinta
    Patients – 13
    Staff – 0 

10. Raincross at Riverside
      Patients – 12
      Staff – <11 

11. Renaissance Village Rancho Belago, Moreno Valley
      Patients – <11
      Staff – <11 

12. Rancho Belago Residential Care, Moreno Valley
      Patients – <11 (These patients were transferred from Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.)
      Staff – 0


The City of Banning Parks & Recreation Department

The City of Banning Parks & Recreation Department is now producing videos for activities you can do at home with your children. Here are the first two, a Grumpy Monkey read along and a DIY Play-doh video. Please subscribe to the City’s Youtube channel for future videos. City of Banning Youtube Channel


Riverside County
Contact: Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087 

County receives CARES funding to support coronavirus response

Riverside County SealThe County of Riverside received $431 million from the federal government under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding will cover costs that are necessary to respond to the ongoing public health emergency related to novel coronavirus.

This is the seventh highest allocation of CARES funding in the nation. Riverside County is the tenth largest county in the country by population.

“This federal funding is greatly important to Riverside County in its mission of public health and safety and supporting our health care system and communities,” said Riverside County Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor.

The county is working with state and federal partners to determine how the funds will be distributed. Eligible costs run from March 1 through Dec. 30 and include COVID-19 public health emergency expenses related to medical needs, public health, public safety and compliance with public health measures. The funding cannot be used to cover projected revenue losses, such as loss of property tax revenue or sales tax revenue.

To learn more, read the CARES Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments issued by the federal government, and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions.


Riverside County
Contact: Thomas Peterson Senor Public Information Specialist
(951) 538 – 6791

Behavioral health support available to public to assist with coping and anxiety

New app provides text support along with referrals to community resources

25085323910_8e252f43c3_mRiverside County residents who are experiencing the stress and challenges surrounding the coronavirus pandemic have free access to live support via text chat from peer support specialists and counselors through a new computer and smartphone app called TakeMyHand.co. Please note that the URL is a .co and not a .com site.

“This is an example of using leading-edge technology to bring behavioral health care to people where and when they need it,” said Dr. Matthew Chang, director of Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health, which developed the app. “The 24/7 availability means that people can get support without a delay or need to travel outside their home,” he continued. 

This online resource uses a chat format to connect individuals with specialists who are trained to interact with people expressing concerns about difficult feelings and behaviors. TakeMyHand.co provides an alternative to telephone and video calls for those who prefer text as their primary form of communication. A comprehensive list of Riverside County wellness and recovery resources is also available at this site. TakeMyHand.co is confidential and does not require a login, username or password.

“I appreciate that Behavioral Health is always there for our community, and especially now,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “These are excellent services that provide support and hope.”

Although this is not a substitute for the care of a licensed clinical professional, many people may find this to be a useful outlet to help calm their anxiety and regain their center. Anyone experiencing a behavioral health crisis should immediately 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).


April 23, 2020

There are 21 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


Riverside County
Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Golf courses and some outdoor activities may reopen with restrictions

rivcophPrivate and public golf courses in Riverside County closed because of the coronavirus pandemic will be allowed to operate, but with certain restrictions under a revised order.

The county further clarified that parks and trails remain open, including parking lots. Social distancing and face coverings must be maintained at all times. Allowed outdoor activities include hiking, biking and equestrian activities and other non-contact outdoor activities such as tennis and golf.

Outdoor activities that remain prohibited include the use of picnic tables, playgrounds, team sports or other similar public events and gatherings.

The order is effective today (April 20) after it was signed by Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health officer, and George Johnson, director of emergency services for the county. It amends an April 2 order that closed private and public golf courses in Riverside County.

“Play is being cautiously reopened for observation,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer.

The initial order was issued as part of the county’s fight against coronavirus (COVID-19), which has infected more than 2,600 people in Riverside County and caused 75 deaths.

“After consulting with public health officials and local leadership, we have made modifications for golf and other forms of recreational activity, such as use of parks, trails and outdoor areas for hiking, biking, pickleball and tennis to resume,” said Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “With proper safety guidelines, our residents can benefit from healthy activities that promote physical exercise, wellness and behavioral health so long as physical distancing is practiced. We will continue to listen and base decisions on thorough review, best practices, data and science.”

Some of the restrictions include:
--Play shall be limited to foursomes that will be required to observe social distancing (six feet separation between players at all times). --No caddies.
--No large gatherings, including fundraisers or tournaments, will be permitted before June 20, 2020.
--Face coverings, such as scarves, bandanas and neck gaiters, shall be worn by players and workers.
--No in-person dining will be allowed at clubhouses.

“Golf is an iconic part of our destination, our history and our economy,” said Scott White, chief operating officer of Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We sincerely appreciate the news that golf will be reopened to allow our residents the opportunity to return to the sport they love. It is imperative that we follow the orders outlined and not allow the coronavirus to return to the previous levels. We will continue to work with Riverside County with the goal to help reopen more tourism related businesses.”



April 20, 2020

There are 18 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


Riverside County
Contact: Riverside
County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Testing for coronavirus expanded to residents without symptoms 

rivcophDrive up testing scheduled for Blythe area

Riverside County residents who do not have symptoms but want to be tested for coronavirus will now be able to after health officials modified the guidelines for testing. 

Meanwhile, a fifth Riverside County community testing site has been established in Blythe for residents who want to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19). The site, located at the Blythe Fairgrounds (591 N. Olive Lake Blvd.), will open on Wednesday (April 22) and operate for four days. 

Those who want to be tested must call 800-945-6171 for an appointment. Drive-ups without appointments cannot be accommodated.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, said the modification of the testing criteria will allow anyone who wants to be tested the opportunity to see whether they have the illness. Officials have said expanded testing – for those with and without symptoms -- will give health experts a better idea of the extent of the illness in Riverside County. 

About 30,000 tests have been administered so far at the county’s four community test sites, clinics, hospitals and other locations. 

“We’re testing people already when they’re sick, but we need to understand how COVID-19 is affecting people who may generally feel well, including kids,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer for the County of Riverside. “That’s going to be a key indicator for understanding how it spreads and knowing where our areas of concern are when we think about if and how much to open things again.” 

The Blythe site is the fifth location for testing in Riverside County. Testing sites are also located at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio (Tuesdays through Saturdays), at The Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore (Sundays through Thursdays), the parking lot at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside (Tuesdays through Saturdays) and the Perris Fairgrounds (Tuesdays through Saturdays). 

“This is great news that we will have a community testing site in Blythe. I want to thank Riverside County Public Health for bringing this much-needed resource to the Blythe area, and also thank Palo Verde Hospital which has been providing testing,” said Board Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “Testing, especially with the expanded criteria, will give us a better picture of the situation.” 

The Indio, Lake Elsinore and Riverside locations have been in operation for weeks and the Perris location opened on Tuesday (April 14), resulting in thousands of residents receiving help. 

As of April 16, Riverside County health officials confirmed 2,105 cases of COVID-19 and 54 residents died from the virus. More than 400 county residents have recovered from COVID-19 and more than 29,000 residents have been tested. 

Those who want to be tested must call 800-945-6171 and specify which location is preferable.

Appointments for the Lake Elsinore site can also be made online by going to www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19.


April 16, 2020

There are 16 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning

For those of you who check in here or at the County’s website for the total number of Covid-19 cases in Banning, you may have noticed that something interesting happened today. Banning’s Covid-19 cases dropped from 102 to 16. This is because the county has stopped including the totals from the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility with the City of Banning’s totals. We asked for those numbers and were told that the County will not be providing individual totals for each county jail facility. Instead they have provided a grand total for all of the County jail facilities, which at this time is 103.


Numbers Have and will Continue to Adjust as Resources and Case #’s Change




April 15, 2020

There are 102 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


Teams deploy to support licensed care facilities

Riverside County


Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

rivcophSpecialized teams designed to educate and equip employees at licensed care facilities throughout Riverside County will start visiting the locations today.

The four SOS (Skilled Nursing Facilities Outreach Support) teams consist of workers from American Medical Response and other healthcare partners who could be involved in patient care, said Kim Saruwatari, director of Public Health. The teams will target specific regions – Northwest, Southwest, Central and Eastern – in the county and work with staff members at each facility to demonstrate proper safety techniques, provide proper safety gear and educate them about COVID-19 to dispel rumors and correct erroneous information.

“There has been so much incorrect information that has spread that many employees in these facilities are scared to show up for work,” said Saruwatari. “Information is power, and by providing these employees with accurate information about how COVID-19 is and is not spread, they will be confident when they report to work.”

Saruwatari said the teams will also provide facilities with the proper personal protection equipment.

The target team concept is aimed at preventing a situation that occurred earlier this month at a Riverside rehabilitation facility.

“These teams are vital to address the pressing needs at group healthcare sites. The health and safety of the employees and residents at these facilities are critical,” said Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor.

More than 80 patients, including 34 who had earlier tested positive for COVID-19, were evacuated from the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and transferred to different locations throughout the county. The previous day, operators of the facility informed the county that most of the regular staff did not show up for their scheduled day shift, prompting health officials to quickly find nurses and others to fill in.

When workers failed to show up for the night shift, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer, ordered the facility evacuated.

Saruwatari said the four teams will also work with the various facilities to determine if they could be at risk for operational impacts.

Rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes present a challenge for health officials due to the age and health conditions of the residents, as well as their close proximity to each other. The county prioritizes investigations in these facilities due to the high risk of serious illness that outbreaks pose.



April 14, 2020

There are 60 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


April 13, 2020

There are 53 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


Riverside County NEWS RELEASE
Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

County Urges Residents to Volunteer for Medical and Nonmedical Positions

rivcophRiverside County is calling on all willing residents, especially those with medical expertise, to support response efforts for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and other group medical care sites are particularly in need for workers willing to care for COVID-19 patients.

This request goes out to all physicians, both active and retired, nurses, nurse assistants, as well as non-medical volunteers such as office staff or Class A and B drivers. The opportunities vary with some paid openings available. The county needs our residents’ varied talents to support the response throughout the region’s impacted communities.

"This is the call to action. We need medical volunteers willing to take care of patients who are COVID positive,” said Dr. Michael Mesisca, from Riverside University Health System. “We will provide full protective equipment to keep you safe. But we need people to step up today. Go to our website and sign up to volunteer.”

For all volunteer positions, please include all information requested to speed up the process for a background check and position placement. Useful information will include an availability schedule, driver’s license, and any professional licenses or certificate numbers for the medical volunteers.

“We need healthy people who can give their time in both medical and non-medical positions,” said Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “This is our moment to come together as a community and help each other.”

Once a volunteer’s background check has cleared, they will be contacted to link their skills and availability with critical needs.

For more information about becoming a volunteer, and to submit your information, please visit the Riverside County Public Health website: www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus and click on the “Volunteer” button or call 951-955-9227 for additional assistance.


Riverside County NEWS RELEASE
Riverside County Joint Information Center
(951) 955-5087

Fourth drive-up COVID-19 testing site scheduled to open in Perris

A fourth Riverside County community testing site has been established at the Perris Fairgrounds for residents who want to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The site, located at 18700 Lake Perris Drive, will open Tuesday (April 14). Those who want to be tested can call 800-945-6171 for an appointment. Those who want to get tested must have symptoms and have an appointment before showing up at the fairgrounds. Drive-ups without appointments cannot be accommodated.

Some of the symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose or congestion. Those who have risk of exposure may also be tested, which means exposure to a confirmed case.

“As this pandemic progresses, knowledge is power. The more testing and data we have, the quicker we can get control of this virus and get back to business,” said Supervisor Jeff Hewitt, Fifth District Supervisor. “This gives us a crucial mid county location, and I am very happy to see it open up.”

The Perris site is the fourth location for community testing in Riverside County. Testing sites are also located at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio (Tuesdays through Saturdays), at The Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore (Sundays through Thursdays), and in the parking lot at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside (Tuesdays through Saturdays). These locations have been in operation for several weeks.

More than 18,000 patients have been tested at the three county locations. This figure does not include the many other tests coordinated by private physicians and labs.

As of April 11, Riverside County had 1,431 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 41 deaths. The county also recorded 156 recoveries.

Those who want to be tested can call 800-945-6171 and specify which location is preferable.

Appointments for the Lake Elsinore site can also be made online by going to www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19.


April 10, 2020

There are 49 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


DPSS Poster 2.001


April 9, 2020

There are 48 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning


Former Sears store to be second federal medical station site

25085323910_8e252f43c3_mA closed department store building in Riverside has been selected as the second Riverside County site for a federal medical station (FMS).

The 90,000-square-foot building that housed the Sears department on Arlington Avenue will be used for a 125-bed hospital using materials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The California National Guard this week will be at the Magnolia Avenue site to set up a portion of the FMS. The California National Guard will not perform any law enforcement activities. The station will provide an additional 125 beds to the county’s overall hospital system, which will ease the burden from an expected surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Moving out the medically fragile folks from Magnolia Rehab was just the beginning,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. “There will be many folks who’ll need care when our hospitals start taking hits, and this second station means we’ll have the same added capacity in our western county as we do in the east.”

The FMS includes all the equipment to run a basic hospital. This includes beds, bed sheets, portable sinks, medication and complete units of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, gowns and face shields. These materials will be set up on the second floor of the former department store to create two stations that will care for less acute patients.

“This facility will ease the burden on our local hospitals during the pandemic, which will allow them to perform more effectively for everyone,” said Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey. “On behalf of our local medical community, I appreciate the county’s efforts to increase capacity in our area.”

Riverside County hospitals will move stable, less severe patients to this location, as well as an identical federal medical station already in operation at the fairgrounds in Indio. This will allow greater capacity in the county’s existing hospitals to respond to the needs of more critical patients.

“We will very soon need every single hospital bed in Riverside County,” said Vice Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “This medical station will give us sorely needed bed space, so that medical teams can continue their heroic efforts to treat more patients in need.”

The county continues to plan for the operation of the western county FMS, including meeting site requirements for the equipment and locating approximately 30-40 personnel to work at the Riverside location.

Jose Arballo Jr.
Senior Public Information Specialist
(951) 712-3705

Brooke Federico
Riverside County Public Information Officer
(951) 743-0075


April 8, 2020

There are 46 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning 


April 7, 2020

There are 34 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1 death in Banning



feed america

Click the link below and type your address to find the nearest food resource centers. Food partners listed are required to provide food at no cost. Please call before arriving to verify when and where food is distributed.


Carols-kitchen_logo_no-tag-line (1)Carol’s Kitchen serves nutritious hot meals 4 days a week in Riverside County. Their mission is to serve those in need with dignity and compassion. Click the link below to find days and locations. Their regular serving hours are: 11:30am-1:00pm





The Senior Center and Community Center is currently closed like all of our public facilities and programming has been suspended or canceled indefinitely. It is expected that this could be the case until April 30th or later. We are communicating daily through emails, phone and social media with our patrons.

Our staff are working extremely hard for the community, mostly from home and we have staff members that are answering phone calls directed to the Senior Center, community Center or Transit during our regular working hours.

Program and Service updates:

  • Parks
    • Our parks are still open to the Public and we have placed signage in the parks and online on our Website and through social media asking the public to enjoy the open space but practice the recommended social distancing.
    • On the recommendation of the County Health Officer, we have closed most of our park amenities because of the inability to practice social distancing and keep touching areas sanitized. The closed amenities in the parks at this time are the exercise equipment, playgrounds, restrooms, skate park, and tennis courts.
  • Recreation
    • All Recreation program and sports for March and April as well as facility rentals have been canceled.
    • Staff has continued to connect with the community through social media posts offering fun recreation activities to do at home and has included posts and video classes from a number of our instructors. https://www.facebook.com/banningparksandrecreation
  • Senior Services
    • Our Senior Services staff has been doing a terrific job attempting to connect with our Seniors since the closure.
    • FSA is continuing the weekly Senior Meal package distribution on Wednesday for our registered Seniors. This past Wednesday, 79 Seniors received a weeks supply of frozen prepared meals, milk, bread and fruit. This number is up from 51 meals two weeks ago.
    • Our staff has included fraud awareness information and little activities for the Seniors in the weekly meal packages.
    • The staff has personally made 182 calls to Seniors the week of March 23rd and 177 calls the week of March 30th. These calls are in addition to any calls that come into the Senior Center line. Staff uses these calls to check on our Seniors and connect them with needed services when we are able. The reception from the Seniors on all of the efforts by our staff has been extremely positive. Staff has also sent personalized cards to over 40 Seniors connecting with them.
    • For some, the closure of the Senior Center has taken away their only socialization and this interaction is immensely important; we continue to look at opportunities to provide that for them.
  • Census
    • April 1st was Census Day and with the issuance of the health orders to combat Covid-19, our outreach plans regarding the Census have had to change but I am happy to report that with a great deal network emailing, social media connections as well as adding information to the City’s Website and creative flier dissemination, the City of Banning’s current self-response rate through April 6th is over 54% which is considerably ahead of the current self-response rates nationally, statewide as well as with our neighboring cities. Next week, we will more specifically target the census tracts in Banning with the lowest response rates.
  • Food Distributions – Many are stepping up in this crisis.
    • In addition to the FSA’s weekly meal distribution, the Senior Center’s Fill the cupboard food pantry has given out many bags of perishable items to needy seniors.
    • Kidscure had their monthly distribution this past Saturday and gave out over 350 bags of food.
    • Community Action Partnership gave out over 150 bags of groceries the last week of March including many Banning Seniors
    • The Chamber in collaboration with Carol’s kitchen, Table of Plenty and Side by Side Humanitarian held their first food distribution event in the Community Center parking lot a\on April 3rd and had a line of cars down San Gorgonio. This event is scheduled every Friday from 1pm to 3pm during the health emergency.

There are a lot of things to be proud of with people showing their willingness to help in this crisis and I want to let you know that the Parks and Recreation Department has an amazing group of employees that love what they do and have been making proactive efforts to perform during this crisis to serve our community and their efforts are appreciated and noticed.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will be providing regular updates on this Website and on the Department’s Facebook page as well. Facebook.com/banningparksandrecreaction

Thank you,
Ralph Wright
Parks and Recreation Director


April 6, 2020

There are now 21 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Banning



Patrice Clayton
Office of Media and Public Information
(213) 244-2442


SoCalGas Launches “SoCalGas CAREs” Campaign to Bring Awareness to CARE Assistance Program for Customers Facing Financial Hardship due to COVID-19
SoCalGas CAREs reminds customers they can qualify to save 20 percent on their monthly utility bills through CARE

LOS ANGELES – April 6, 2020 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today launched a campaign titled, “SoCalGas CAREs” for customers whose income may have recently changed due to COVID-19 or other reasons. The campaign aims to let customers know of their eligibility to qualify for SoCalGas’ assistance program, California Alternate Rates for Energy or CARE, saving them 20 percent on their monthly natural gas bills. Over the next several weeks, SoCalGas will begin running both social media and television ads promoting the “SoCalGas CAREs” campaign.

“SoCalGas is committed to assisting the communities we serve during this challenging period,” said Jeff Walker, Vice President of Customer Solutions at SoCalGas. “We recognize that many families are facing unexpected hardships such as job and income loss right now and we want to remind them that SoCalGas’ assistance programs like CARE can help.”

The CARE program aids people in paying their utility bills by providing a 20 percent discount on monthly natural gas bills.

Customers who have become recently unemployed or who are currently facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic or for other reasons are encouraged to visit socalgas.com/care, complete the quick online application and find out instantly if they qualify. The CARE online application is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Other customer assistance programs SoCalGas offers include:

Gas Assistance Fund

• If you or someone you know is having difficulty paying your gas bill, the Gas Assistance Fund (GAF) may be able to provide you with a one-time grant for the amount of the gas bill, not to exceed $100.00.

The Gas Assistance Fund is a joint effort of SoCalGas and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. They work with non-profit partner organizations throughout our service territory to administer the program.

• You may qualify for the Gas Assistance Fund based on your yearly household income.

Medical Baseline Allowance

The Medical Baseline Allowance program provides additional natural gas at the lowest baseline rate for individuals with a serious health condition.

• You may qualify for the Medical Baseline Allowance if a full-time member of your household:

o Has a life-threatening illness or a compromised immune system

o Is seriously disabled

o Requires more heat in winter due to a serious health condition or to prevent deterioration of the individual’s medical condition

• Eligibility is based on medical condition only, not household income.

Please visit socalgas.com/assistance for more information on how to know if you qualify for these programs as well as how to apply.

SoCalGas understands this is a challenging time for all and wants to assure customers natural gas service will be there for their communities. SoCalGas will continue to make safety and emergency service appointments, including reports of suspected natural gas leaks, carbon monoxide checks, gas meter turn-ons, natural gas outage and pilot re-lights. And we will continue to perform work needed to safely and reliably maintain infrastructure so we can continue to provide customers with safe and essential energy services.

Service disconnections have been suspended until further notice. This means no customer will have their natural gas turned off due to non-payment. SoCalGas has also temporarily waived late fees for small business customers. As a reminder, SoCalGas never charges late fees for residential customers.

Additional information about SoCalGas’ response to COVID-19 is available here.

About SoCalGas

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Gas delivered through the company’s pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.

SoCalGas’ vision is to be the cleanest gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable

for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.



April 3, 2020

Covid-19 Testing

If you are interested in being tested for Covid-19, you can click the link here and based on the responses and testing appointment availability, you will learn whether you can get tested through this program. Otherwise contact your healthcare provider.  www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19


April 2, 2020

There are now 16 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Banning


Animal Shelters Temporarily Closing to Public April 2nd. Lifesaving Services Will Still be Handled During Covid-19

animal servicesDepartment of Animal Services
Director, Julie Bank, (Click here to read about the new Director of Animal Services) 

Public Information Office
CONTACT: John Welsh Animal Services Chief/PIO
MEDIA LINE: 951-565-7934 or jcwelsh@rivco.org

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2020 – Animal Services is closing its shelters to the public starting on April 2 due to an abundance of caution during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some services will be modified, but there are still critical needs we have, including adoptions and fostering pets, said Animal Services Director Julie Bank.

“Although the shelters are closed to the public, we’re still at the shelter caring and providing for the animals and our animal control officers are in the field protecting our constituents and animals,” Bank said. “We have already been successful in placing more than 1,660 animals in March and we are still coordinating adoptions, fostering and pet reunions, but these services will have a unique look.”

That look will resemble an Uber-like service or something resembling Instacart, she said. Would-be adopters and fosters can search online for a pet that meets their family’s needs and team members will coordinate a curbside pickup or schedule a delivery to the adopter’s home if feasible, Bank said.

“We’ll still do our official adoption process and proper vetting,” Bank said. “But with strong social distancing still practiced. Also, if the pet does not make for a perfect fit, there is no pressure on the adopter to complete the application.” And if that’s not exciting enough, all animals for adoption are free of charge during this time.

The foster application can be found here: https://www.rcdas.org/index.php/volunteer/foster-care

Adopters can call 951-358-7387 or e-mail the pet animal ID number to this email: shelterinfo@rivco.org

We are also beefing up our call center services to provide information on ways to support you as a pet owner and to provide more information on ways you can help as a concerned resident. Animal control officers will continue to respond to bite and cruelty investigations, as well as any public health, safety and welfare issues.

For updated information on our services please visit www.rcdas.org.



April 1, 2020


The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a paycheck protection program to small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. This program is only available through June 30, 2020.

This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.

Note that for small businesses, existing banks who are eligible to lend under the SBA 7(a) program can begin lending on Friday, April 3. For sole proprietors, they can begin lending on the 10th.

The sample application form can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/Borrower%20Paycheck%20Protection%20Program%20Application_0.pdf

Small Business Administration website: https://www.sba.gov/

CARES Act information:

Covid-19 Resources:

Inland Empire Small Business Development Center:


According to rivcoph.org, there are now 4 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the City of Banning.

This is a good time to remind everyone that the County of Riverside is now recommending that we all cover our nose and mouth when leaving our homes for essential travel, like doctor appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits.

Here is a great article by the New York Times that gives a step by step guide on how to make your own face mask.

New York Times - It’s Time to Make Your Own Face Mask

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