CORRECTION: Spiegel Spotlight – November 2020

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Karen Spiegel General Banner

Dear Friends and Second District Residents,

On October 20, 2020, Riverside County slid back in the more-restrictive purple coronavirus tier.  That move, as defined by the State of California meant that restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and places of worship could no longer have limited indoor operations.  As many of our residents know, the tier system is heavily reliant upon positivity and case rates, testing rates, and a recently added equity factor. Some would argue these are “penalty” systems.  These tiers and metrics generally apply Statewide, without recognition of the tremendous diversity of California’s geography, demographic density, or other factors. 

We can’t keep moving the finish line based upon what the state says on any given week.  That is why on October 27, 2020, I proposed to my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors to join me in approving an agenda item which would allow us to bring the counties together through the CEOs of the other Southern California Counties (San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Los Angeles) to give us a stronger and more cohesive voice.  We will work to develop a dependable and predictable re-opening framework that will balance the health and safety needs of our diverse citizenry while recognizing and prioritizing the need of our citizens to have and maintain gainful employment and service delivery.  The agenda item passed 5-0 and we are working diligently with our Executive Office to move this initiative forward.  I'm pleased to report that have already held one successful meeting with a neighboring county.  

COVID isn’t just a health crisis. It’s becoming more and more of a mental health, economic and social crisis as the state continues to deliver crushing news and destroying all hope.  As more and more people lose their livelihood and continue to be sequestered, we will see a more severe downward trend of the overall quality of life in Southern California and greater disparity amongst the haves and the have-nots.  We must create a reasonable and workable system that can meet people where there are and allow for more local control of critical points of measurement and implementation. 

We have millions of people in southern California. We must forge ahead, form a Southern California Coalition and find a way to reasonably manage and live with COVID in order to recover and succeed! 

The Riverside County Second District Supervisor’s office Staff are available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to assist you. You can reach my office by calling (951) 955-1020 or by emailing and staff will assist you promptly.

I encourage you to stay connected by joining District 2 on Facebook @SupervisorKarenSpiegel  or Twitter @SupKarenSpiegel and Instagram @SupervisorKarenSpiegel 

I hope you enjoy this e-newsletter.  Please reach out to my office if we may be of assistance.




Karen Spiegel
Second District Supervisor


The state’s color-coded, tiered system will use two metrics to measure the coronavirus: spread rate and test positivity percentage to determine where a specific county can be in the reopening process.

The tiers are designated by four colors: PURPLE (widespread), RED (substantial), ORANGE (moderate) and YELLOW (minimal with the lowest restrictions). Most counties statewide – almost 90 percent – are currently highlighted in purple, including Riverside County.  Although Riverside County’s numbers are trending in the right direction, Counties must remain at each tier for a minimum of 21 days. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier.  The state’s new website will track the metrics, show an interactive map and list business sectors open by each county. 

The State has added a new “Health Equity Metric” which will be used (along with other metrics) to determine a county's tier and ensure that the entire County is ready to move forward in the state tiers system. While the State's most disadvantaged neighborhoods are home to 24 percent of Californians, they account for 40 percent of COVID-19 cases. Each county's census tracts will be divided into quartiles based on California’s Healthy Places Index (HPI). This metric requires the County to ensure that the positivity rates in the County’s fourth quartile do not lag significantly behind the positivity rates in the rest of the County. The Health Equity Metric will be considered before the County can move forward in tiers, but it will not be considered if the County is in danger of moving back to a more restrictive tier.

What does this mean for Riverside County? We are currently in the PURPLE (CORRECTED STATEMENT) tier as of October 20, 2020. Currently, countywide positivity rate is 5.9% compared to the state-wide metric of 3.3%. We are experiencing 11.5 NEW COVID-19 cases per day, per 100,000 population, compared to the state-wide metric of 7.7 cases per day per 100,000.

As of November 5, 2020, the County of Riverside have had 70,309 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 62,260 recoveries; 1,331 deaths and 862,637 people have been tested.  More detailed reports on Riverside County’s COVID-19 cases and data is available at

The Riverside County school waiver process will not be impacted by the governor’s new system. Schools can reopen on a widespread basis (without a waiver) once a county is in the red tier for at least two weeks.


get facts

Testing is FREE at a county or state-run site and available for anyone.

There are 12 testing sites spread throughout Riverside County, both walk-in and drive-up services. To find county and state-run locations and make an appointment, go online to For a list of other COVID-19 test sites in your area, click


Getting a flu vaccine this year is more important as ever. A flu vaccine not only can help protect you and your loved ones, but also help reduce the strain on hospitals and healthcare systems and help save vital medical resources needed to care for people with COVID-19.

It’s important for everyone to do their part to stay healthy this flu season. The best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated, but healthy habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs. Do your part to prevent the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses by remembering to:

  • Mask Up: Cover your nose and mouth with a mask when out in public.
  • Lather Up: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Sleeve Up: Roll up your sleeve to get a flu shot.

The more people vaccinated against the flu, the more people are protected from the flu. To learn more visit:

*Medicare Part B covers one flu shot per flu season. Beneficiaries pay nothing for a flu shot if their doctor or other qualified healthcare provider accepts Medicare payment for giving the flu shot.

For helpful information on how to spot the difference between the Flu and COVID-19, visit:


flu vacc



On November 3, 2020 the Riverside County Public Health Officer and the California Department of Public Health has approved the Corona-Norco Unified School District’s TK-6 Waiver application to reopen elementary schools for in-person instruction.

This is the first waiver approved for a public school district in Riverside County.

“This is one of the largest waiver applications in the state in terms of schools and students,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health Officer. “We’ve reviewed the district’s precautions and safety plans and they meet all current state criteria for precautions. We want kids back in school, but we want to do it safely, and this will not only give us that chance but also the real-world understanding of how we can safely operate large school districts during the pandemic.”

“We are proud to be the first school district in Riverside County to successfully complete the state’s waiver process,” said School Board President Mary Ybarra. “We know how important returning students to school safely is to our community. However, while the approved waiver grants us the permission to reopen schools, it does not mean they will be reopening immediately, there is still a lot to consider; including reviewing the input we received from our survey of the community and staff, to help us determine the appropriate time to reopen schools.”

The Board will determine reopening dates at the upcoming School Board Meeting on November 10, 2020 which will be live-streamed onto the CNUSD Board Meeting Youtube Channel.

“We are proud of the safety measures and planning our schools have worked to achieve in the preparation for the return of students,” said Dr. Sam Buenrostro, CNUSD Deputy Superintendent. “We know the emotional and academic needs of our students are best met with in-person instruction, and we are working to make that happen in the safest environment possible.”

Families who are not comfortable sending their students back to in-person instruction, may transfer to our virtual program as space allows. Parents interested in transferring programs should reach out to their school site administration. For more information, please visit:



Businesses located within Riverside County that have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic are encouraged to apply for a $10,000 Small Business Grant from the County of Riverside. The application period has been extended and applications are being accepted from ALL Riverside County Districts. Deadline to apply is 5pm on November 13, 2020. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more about eligibility criteria and apply please visit


  • Payroll/Employee retention
  • Working capital
  • Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment
  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Paying vendor invoice
biz grants


The County of Riverside has created a county-wide mapping service that provides a valuable resource for those struggling with food insecurities.  You can allow this app to use your location, or type in an address to find locations providing food pantries, senior meals, and school meals during the COVID-19 emergency in Riverside County. Click HERE to view the map. A mobile version is also available from the RUHS Coronavirus home page: 

There are also several local food pantry events listed below.


drive thru



Two Riverside County moms who finalized their children’s adoptions in 2020 say they hope their journeys will inspire others to follow a similar path.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month – a time to celebrate families who have united through adoption. Currently, about 150 children are waiting to be adopted in Riverside County.

Children of color, siblings, teenagers and kids with special needs often wait the longest to find a forever home. Some of them are featured in the county’s Heart Gallery at   Romney Snyder has three adopted sons. This year she finalized adoption of her youngest, Tyler, 16, who has Down Syndrome.

“He’s a beast of an athlete,” Snyder says of the bright-eyed teenage acrobat. “We say Tyler has “Get-Down Syndrome because he will dance to any music whether or not we can hear it.” “To connect them was just amazing,” says Snyder’s social worker Vivian Dunipace. “Tyler was glowing to have someone interested in him and the people who adopt these children are really special.”

Jolleen Newby finalized adoption of her 3-year-old daughter, Paisley, in August. She’s now mom to four little girls, all adopted in Riverside County. Newby said she’s thankful for the help she received from social workers along the way.

“They were so supportive, they answered all my questions and helped me with the transition,” Newby said. “There are so many children who need love and don’t have family. Adoption changes lives and it’s changed me as a person.”

To learn more about adoption in Riverside County call 1-800 665-KIDS.

* Romney Snyder and her most recently adopted son, Tyler, 16.



On October 28, 2020 State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced Keisa Brown , teacher at University Heights Middle School (UHMS), as one of five 2021 CA Teachers of the Year. This recognition honors five outstanding and talented teachers who go above and beyond to educate, inspire, and empower students, families, and communities.

The California Teachers of the Year Program began in 1972 to honor outstanding teachers and encourage and inspire new teachers to enter the profession. Being named a CA Teacher of the Year is testimony to Brown’s personal journey as a professional teacher and the impact she continues to have on the UHMS community.

Out of many highly qualified county nominees representing hundreds of thousands of teachers across the State only five were ultimately designated to receive this honor. "Keisa Brown deserves this honor. She has made the whole District proud by sharing her talents with our students in Riverside. We congratulate her on this wonderful recognition.” shared Kathy Allavie, President of the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) Board of Education.

“Keisa strives to make connections and build relationships with each and every one of her students, ensuring that they feel heard, connected, and like they have a voice on campus,” Kathryn Grimble explained, Principal at UHMS. “She has a way of pushing students to achieve and hold them to high standards while also being their biggest advocate.” Brown started at UHMS over 20 years ago as an Americorp tutor. She now serves as an AVID coordinator and manages Club Live, a group dedicated to educating students about the dangers of drug and alcohol. She also coordinates college and career awareness events on campus.

“It is a blessing and honor serving as a representative of University Heights Middle School, Riverside Unified School District and Riverside County. I am humbled and in awe,” shared Brown. “We give to our scholars on a daily basis looking for nothing in return. Teaching is a true calling, and I hope all vow to make a difference in the lives of our students and families. I am a reflection of the University Heights community. It takes a team to make things work! Ubuntu, I am because we are. As indicated by Frederick Douglas, ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’ Said fact is the premise and grounds for ‘heart work’ on a daily basis.”

To learn more about Keisa Brown, please follow the link to watch this short video: For more information on the award program, please visit the CDE's

California Teachers of the Year web page.


Beginning Monday, November 2, RTA will resume traditional front-door boarding on buses and require customers to pay at the farebox.
Due to the introduction of protective barriers installed between the farebox and the drivers, customers using paper passes will be required to dip their pass in the farebox on every trip rather than swipe their pass upon entering the bus.

Cash will continue to be accepted in the farebox and college students in U-Pass and Go-Pass programs will be required to use the Token Transit mobile ticketing app. Customers can also go touch-free by downloading the Token Transit app for easy payment with their phones.

Some precautions will remain in place. RTA will continue to follow state health guidelines regarding COVID-19 and require customers to wear masks and limit the number of available seats to practice social distancing. For more information on what we are doing to keep you safe so you can travel with confidence, click here.

Get more travel information at or contact our Customer Information Center at (951) 565-5002.


our part

Women Wonder Writers, in collaboration with RCOE, is hosting “Our P’Art of Parenthood” on November 21st, 10AM-12PM. This is a virtual paint party child-caregiver pairs from RCOE and the wider Riverside County community. This will be a LIVE event and with step-by-step guidance from a local artist. Pairs will socialize, laugh, show and tell, and finish with a fine piece of personal expression – all while cementing and celebrating familial support systems.

If you're a family living in Riverside or your children attend school in Riverside County, get your tickets today. Learn more and register here:  


The Riverside County Department of Waste Resources invites you to join us for our RivCo Recycles Community Summit, a virtual discussion about recycling, taking place November 17th – November 19th.

The three-day interactive recycling webinar is featuring a variety of speakers from all facets of our community. Each of the days focuses on the following categories: Businesses, Residents, and Educators/Students.

To register for the RivCo Recycles Community Summit, please click the link:






Join the Corona Chamber of Commerce next week when they will host their Salute to the Military at Good Morning, Corona, on November 13th. Please register here:

Anyone who is or has ever served our country, please allow us to honor you at this annual program. Your registration fee is waived, courtesy of the business community!




The City of Norco will host a FREE 5-day Community Clean-Up starting on Wednesday, November 4-Friday, November 6: 4-7 p.m.; Saturday, November 7-Sunday, November 8: 8 a.m.-4 p.m at the George Ingalls Event Center to help the community dispose of excess green waste that resulted from the recent windstorms.

PERMITTED ITEMS: Green waste, including leaves, grass clippings, weeds and tree limbs/branches/shrubs (not to exceed 5’ in length)

UNPERMITTED ITEMS: Trash, Manure, Recyclables, Furniture, Appliances, Auto Parts, Dirt/Rock/Concrete, Hazardous Waste, Universal Waste, Bulky Items, Commercial Waste, etc.

Please Note: Items may be transported in bags but cannot be disposed in bags. Additionally, yucca, palm, ice plants and bamboo must be separated from green waste. Proof of Norco residency is required. For more information, please contact the City of Norco at (951) 270-5632 or email


While the City of Corona’s Senior Center may be closed in adherence to local COVID-19 guidelines, our Thanksgiving tradition has not been cancelled. The City invites adults 50+ for a very special FREE drive thru Thanksgiving feast on Monday, November 16, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Estancia Del Sol (located at 2489 California Ave. in Corona). This event is made possible in partnership with Estancia Del Sol, Ed Garland Realty, and Corona Rotary. Reservations are required for all guests. To make a reservation, please call (951) 736-2241 or email





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