Riverside County Health Order on Child Care: April 6, 2020

Daycare and childcare facilities shall continue to operate under the following mandatory conditions: (1) Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day); (2) Children shall not change from one group to another; (3) If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other; and (4) Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.

Read the full order here.

Licensed Child Care Providers with Available Slots for Essential Workers

Public Health Orders

First 5 Riverside is concerned about your health and safety during this time of increased public health concern surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus. Information available through the Riverside County Department of Public Health provides both timely and local information and is accessible through the First 5 Riverside and Quality Start Riverside County websites.

First 5 Riverside efforts are focused on minimizing the spread of this disease, remaining vigilantly informed in order to provide you with the latest recommendations impacting families and children, and communicating the important steps we are implementing as an organization. We are doing our best to adjust our protocols and approach in the context of this rapidly changing situation.

County staff are following travel and meeting directives and practicing social distancing. Quality Start Riverside County Coaches and all First 5 Riverside staff will be communicating using audio/visual technology to support Riverside County’s effort to “flatten the curve.”

Contractual Impacts

First 5 Riverside acknowledges that responding and adhering to public health guidance may impact your contracted scope of work and deliverables that you have with First 5 Riverside. It may require you to re-prioritize tasks, adapt how you fulfill the current contracted scope of work, and/or conduct strategy meetings with your partners to address the current situation and plan for the next few months. We support you in these efforts and are working to develop interim processes and protocols to timely respond to your questions and requests. Please reach out directly to your program officer/project manager should you have questions and suggestions, as we are working to address emerging contingencies. We welcome your input and feedback and to uplift any new situations you may encounter.

We are in this together! Wash your hands frequently – Stay home when you are sick -Cover your coughs and sneezes – Avoid public gatherings

Best, Tammi Graham, Executive Director, First 5 Riverside


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.

Additional information

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.

Additional information

With children out of school and families isolated at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, children’s advocates are asking neighbors and friends to be extra watchful and to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

The calls for vigilance come during Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time each April when communities recommit efforts and resources aimed at protecting children and strengthening families. Many mandatory reporters of abuse and neglect, such as daycare workers and teachers, are no longer seeing children in person.

Individuals who suspect child abuse or neglect can notify the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-442-4918.

Full press release

The Paycheck Protection Program is a $349 billion program designed to help small businesses, including many child care businesses, keep their workers on the payroll and stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis to avoid closing permanently. Loans provided through this program will be forgiven by the Small Business Administration if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and funds are used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. You may also hear this referred to as the “7(a)” program.

Additional information

Loan application

Riverside County health officials are recommending residents cover their nose and mouth when leaving home for essential travel to doctor appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits.

The face coverings do not have to be hospital grade but need to cover the nose and mouth. For example, bandanas, fabric masks and neck gaiters are acceptable. Fabric covers and bandanas can be washed and used again.

The rationale for covering one’s face comes from the belief that transmission occurs primarily through droplets from an infected individual, which fabrics can easily filter. This not only helps to reduce the risk a well person can breathe those droplets in, but also protects others around
someone with mild symptoms who may not yet realize they have the illness. Face covering should be worn anytime a person is outside of their home, even in offices of essential businesses.

Health officials continue to stress that frequent hand washing, social distancing and staying home are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Additional information

A COVID-19 testing site in Indian Wells will be relocated to the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. The first day of testing at the fairgrounds is Tuesday (March 31), in parking lots 5 and 5A off of Arabia Street (between Highway 111 and Dr. Carreon Boulevard).The drive-up site runs between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Appointment times are discussed when residents call the toll-free number at 800-945-6171. Residents must have symptoms to make an appointment, which include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or congestion.

A second testing location at Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore has operated since March 19 for residents living within 50 miles of the city of Riverside. That location is continuing its schedule (Sundays through Thursdays). Those seeking tests at the Lake Elsinore location are encouraged to use the Project Baseline website for appointments. Residents can also call 800-945-6171 for appointments at Lake Elsinore.

Additional information

Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser extended the closure of the county’s schools to June 19 in response to the current conditions of COVID-19.

Additional information

Beginning on Friday, March 20, Raincross Hospitality Corporation (RHC), which manages and operates the Riverside Convention Center, will partner with Sysco Riverside to provide drive-up grocery service to Riverside residents, convention center clients and their employees, and others in need of essential food and other supplies.

How to Order • Review Package Items List by going to  www.rivcares.com • Phone: 951-346-4700 to place an order and pay – English, Spanish ordering available • Credit card payments only • Bring purchase confirmation to the Riverside Convention Center pick-up station • Call Center hours for ordering are 9am to 3pm, Monday thru Saturday. After hours, leave a message with name and contact information.

Picking up Orders • Orders will be available for pick-up between the hours of 7am – 11am and 3pm - 7pm, Monday thru Saturday at the Riverside Convention Center pick-up station, located on Orange Street between Third and Fifth Streets in downtown Riverside, the following day based on the assigned time you will be given with your confirmation number at time of purchase. ID and credit card used for purchase must be presented at pick up.

Full release for more information 

Playworks will also be broadcasting #PlayAtHome Recess live on Facebook at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. (PST) Monday through Friday. Tune in for stretching and warm-ups, interactive games, cheers, and cooldown activities.

Want to see what it is like? Check out Morning Stretch and Up Down Stop Go!

If you suspect a business or person of price-gouging in Riverside County during this health emergency, you can call the Riverside DA’s Price Gouging Hotline at (951) 955-0764. Reports can also be made in Spanish at that number. There is also a general complaint form on the State DA’s office: https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company

Price gouging occurs when a person or business raises the prices of essential goods or services more than 10 percent during a declared state of emergency.

Essential goods and services include but are not limited to food and water (including for pets), flashlights, medicine, sanitary products, toiletries, diapers, medical or emergency supplies, and lodging.

A handful of DPSS offices in the county will remain open with skeleton staffing for restricted access to individuals without a phone who are homeless or those who require the immediate need for expedited services. With large populations of children and adults remaining at home and out of sight, DPSS officials are urging family members and neighbors to be vigilant and report suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable individuals by calling Riverside County’s 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 800-442-4918 and the 24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline at 800-491-7123.

Additional information

No Kid Hungry is offering real time funding and assistance for schools and community organizations that are finding new, innovative ways to make sure kids have access to the meals they need as schools close due to coronavirus.

Emergency Grant Form

Private preschools are not yet required to close at this time, however that could change with a future order as the situation surrounding coronavirus continues. Please see this letter from Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Public Health Officer, Riverside County, for more information on this issue. Please refer to the Early Care and Education FAQ for additional answers to questions you may have.

If you are in need of a listing of licensed childcare programs in your area please reach out to Early Care and Education, Resource & Referral at (800) 442-4927 or use the online Child Care Finder to through this link.

If you are in need of financial assistance in covering the cost of child care services, the Early Care and Education Eligibility List application can be requested by contacting Resource & Referral at (800) 442-4927 or through the online application found here.

On March 8, 2020, the County Public Health Officer declared a local public health emergency for the County.

First 5 Riverside is following State and local guidance on travel and gatherings as defined by the California Department of Public Health. These guidelines intend to protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19.   

Whenever possible, meetings will be held utilizing video/audio conferencing or postponed until the risk to the public and our employees subsides.

There has been a lot of news about the outbreak of the coronavirus that can be confusing and overwhelming for parents and frightening to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents and others who work closely with children to filter information and talk about it in a way children can understand.

Please read the message from our county’s public health agency and refer to the important links below for information and guidance for parents and providers of young children.

Message from the Riverside University Health System – Public Health

One of the most important ways we have to combat the spread of illness like coronavirus is through education and information from reliable sources. It’s vital that we provide science-based details about how the illness is spread, as well as updates on what health officials are doing to protect the health of residents of Riverside County.

The website https://www.rivcoph.org/coronavirus was created to provide you with information about our preparedness activities and the latest news and updates about coronavirus and related issues from reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We understand there is anxiety during uncertain times, but RUHS – PH wants you to know we are working to protect the community’s health.


Kim Saruwatari
Public Health Director

Dr. Cameron Kaiser
Public Health Officer and
Riverside  County Children and Families Commission