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Rep. Ruiz: There is a possibility Coachella & Stagecoach may not happen in 2020

Local Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz joined News Channel 3's Peter Daut for our daily "Coronavirus: Questions Answered" show at 6:30 p.m. on Fox and CBS today.

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The Congressman answered a number of questions related to when things should start to reopen in the Coachella Valley.

"I believe science should dictate when we should start opening up and we should also make sure we have all the protective measures in place before we do because if we open up too early, then we run the risk of another flare up which would only delay our economic return. And that would only hurt us more economically," Rep. Ruiz said.

One of the big questions on everyone's minds, not just in the valley but around the world is, will Coachella & Stagecoach still happen in October?

The festivals are typically held around this time of the year, however, both were moved to October due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Congressman Ruiz believes there's a possibility the event is canceled altogether this year.

"Yeah, there is that possibility because we know that the virus is still going to be around, not just here in the Coachella Valley but throughout the whole country," Rep. Ruiz said. "We also know that if those concerts continue, and that we ease the traveling restrictions and stay-at-home precautions, then you will see tens of thousands of people coming to the Coachella Valley, which is already a very vulnerable area."

Watch: News Channel 3's Shelby Nelson spoke with other valley leaders about the possibility of Coachella/Stagecoach being canceled

Ruiz urged that now is time to be preparing with ample testing and create safeguard to identify and isolate positive cases quickly and provide support for them.

Ruiz called for a plan that would protect workers in the TSA, airlines, concerts, grocery, & frontline industries from individuals who would be at a higher density.

"That's a unique problem here in the Coachella Valley when we're one of the more vulnerable locations for people dying given our demographics. So, right now is the time to create that plan and I'd like to be able to learn from the county what they're doing in that regard," Ruiz added.

As of April 20, there are 2,847 positive cases in Riverside County. Indio, the home city of the Coachella & Stagecoach music festivals, has the most cases in the Coachella Valley with 106, followed closely by the city of Coachella, who have 90 cases.

Read: Breakdown of latest coronavirus cases in Riverside County

Currently, there are 236 people hospitalized with 70 those in the ICU. A total of 700 people have recovered.

Complete 10-minute interview with Congressman Ruiz

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.

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