The eastern Coachella Valley has the greatest number of coronavirus cases. Indio leads with 138 cases and Coachella is close behind with 123 confirmed cases. The alarming number of cases has caused fear to those living in these areas.
“We are all very sad and scared,” said Armando Chavez, who’s lived in Coachella for more than 10-years.
The mayor of Coachella argues that his community is adhering to state and county guidelines. However, essential workers don’t have the privilege to stay home and social distance.
“We also know that it’s based on your economics. If you’re of lower social economic needs you’re not able to shelter in place as easily,” said Steven Hernandez.
Emanuel Meza, who works for a landscaping company in Indio potentially exposes himself to the virus every day while working. Putting his life and his family’s lives at risk.
“What can I do? I need to work and provide for my family. the only thing we can do is try to protect ourselves,” said Meza.
Latinos make up 64 percent of the COVID-19 deaths, according to the State’s Department of Public Health. For Coachella where the majority of the population is Hispanic, the high number of cases could be devastating.
“We are trying to make sure that our workers are ultimately staying safe,” said Hernandez.
Essential workers from doctors and nurses to grocery store clerks are all lacking personal protective equipment. To solve this, city leaders confirm they will be working with CAL/OSHA to provide equipment for essential workers.