The over-budgeted and grossly underutilized John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio finally has resident inmates though not because it is being utilized for county inmates as intended, but solely because the state of California has refused to take anymore inmates sentenced by the county to state prisons due the danger of exposure to COVID-19. Currently, the state is waging an intense battle against the coronavirus in state prisons. Both prisoners and employees at state facilities are being heavily impacted by the coronavirus with nearly 2,060 cases among inmates and more than 1100 active cases among California Department of Corrections and California Correctional Health Care Services employees. As a result, the 1500 bed John J. Benoit Detention Center now houses about 500 inmates sentenced by the county and pending transfer to the state prison. Construction of the center, which began in July 2015, ran millions of dollars over budget and was supposed to be operational in 2017. Due to extensive delays the facility has yet to be fully operational.