Desert Sun: As COVID-19 cases rise in Coachella Valley, highest rates are in eastern communities

By: , Palm Springs Desert Sun

Published: 11:24 a.m. PT April 23, 2020

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Coachella Valley, communities in the eastern part of the region now have the highest rates of infection. As of Thursday, Thermal, Mecca and Coachella, respectively, lead with the highest rates, according to Riverside County health officials.

The higher rates don’t necessarily mean the highest number of cases. They do, however, mean — when compared to a particular community’s population size — the total amount of cases represents an undue burden.

An unincorporated community just south of Coachella, Thermal has a rate that is nearly five times higher than the overall rate among Coachella Valley cities and unincorporated communities. The overall rate is 1.4 cases per 1,000 residents.

Mecca, an unincorporated community just north of the Salton Sea, has double that rate. The city of Coachella is just under double the overall rate.