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US - California: More than 1,000 incarcerated at San Quentin test positive - June 29, 2020

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  • US - California: More than 1,000 incarcerated at San Quentin test positive - June 29, 2020

    California to Release Some Inmates With Virus Ravaging Prisons

    Dana Hull
    Sophie AlexanderJune 28, 2020, 4:56 PM EDT Updated on June 29, 2020, 6:55 PM EDT
    • More than 1,000 incarcerated at San Quentin test positive

  • #2
    California's San Quentin prison declined free coronavirus tests and urgent advice — now it has a massive outbreak

    The storied prison is dealing with the third-largest coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Researchers fear that other institutions are at risk.

    Amy Maxmen

    07 JULY 2020

    Since the first cases of COVID-19 were reported at San Quentin in the San Francisco Bay Area of California 5 weeks ago, more than one-third of the inmates and staff — 1,600 people — have tested positive. Six have died.

    Researchers in the Bay Area say it didn’t have to be this way. For the past four months, they have been offering prison officials free tests for the coronavirus, guidelines for protecting prisons from the pandemic and increasingly frantic warnings that trouble was coming. Law firms filed motions in federal court, requesting that California governor Gavin Newsom compel California’s prisons to heed expert advice.
    ...The court denied the motions and correctional facilities have failed to fully implement the measures.

    A dangerous transfer

    San Quentin got through most of May without a single reported case of COVID-19 among inmates. But another facility, the California Institution for Men in Chino, was dealing with an outbreak. To protect at-risk inmates there, prison officials moved some 120 prisoners over age 65 or with underlying medical conditions to San Quentin. Many hadn’t been tested within a week of the transfer, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, providing ample time for them to become infected in the prison quarters.

    Soon after their arrival at San Quentin, some of the men showed symptoms.

    A testing logjam

    Nine out of the ten largest outbreaks in the United States have been associated with prisons, according to a list maintained by The New York Times. Although testing alone doesn’t curb COVID-19, it alerts officials to the situation so that they can separate people who test positive, as well as those potentially infected, before the virus has a chance to spread.