Rising COVID-19 cases cause concern in eastern Coachella Valley

Rising COVID-19 cases cause concern in eastern Coachella Valley

Regina Yurrita

Medical workers who volunteer at coronavirus testing sites in the eastern Coachella Valley are concerned at the uptick in positive coronavirus cases as the county moves to open up more businesses.

In May at a testing site in Mecca two percent of those tested were positive for coronavirus. In thermal just a month later 10 percent tested positive.

“It’s not because we are doing more testing. There’s a real reason for that,”said Rosa Lucca, who volunteered to do COVID-19 testing at the Thermal testing site.

Volunteers are blaming the Riverside County Board of Supervisors for opening too soon. They believe underserved communities don’t have the privilege to social distance.

“It’s very difficult for them to quarantine because they don’t have a separate bathroom and they are two or three families living in small quarters,” said Lucca.

The highest cases are in coachella, but unincorporated communities have the highest rate. There is also a large portion of agricultural workers living in this region that continue to potentially expose themselves to the virus, making the percentage possibly increase.

“It’s hard to say right now, it’s going to take time for us to figure it out. But remember we have contact tracing,” said Jose arballo, spokesperson for the Department of Public Health in Riverside County.

With more locals enjoying their evening out, public health officials are still recommending everyone to continue to adhere to safety guidelines

“We are seeing an uptick, we’re hoping that levels as people realize they need to wear a mask and continue social distancing,” said Arballo.

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