Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Prison Covid Super Surge In Progress, says our source at California Institution for Women

Where and how does this virus keep managing to outsmart every protocol implemented? Easy. Many inmates have prison job assignments that require them to work INDOORS, in close proximity to staff.

 

December 23, 2020

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Worker at Lawrence General Hospital after a COVID-19 vaccination; prisoners have yet to see a vaccine

If the amount of positive tests in my housing unit mirror the entire California Institution for Women's prison population's stats, then this prison is experiencing what can only be described as a Prison Covid Super Surge!!

As you know, I'm a prisoner at the CIW in Corona, California. I've lived in the same unit since long before the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. I'm loath to keep on writing about Covid-19 related issues. I'm sick of thinking about, talking about and hearing about the Covid-19!! As I know many of you are also. However, I'm not sure this can be ignored. So, what is this issue I'm referring to? A super surge!

In my unit of approximately 85 women, well over half of us tested positive. Not me, of course. I'm told we only have 23 women in the unit at the moment. The rest ot them tested positive and were taken to quarantine. Now keep in mind, we have been forced to wear masks for months now!! The unit is sprayed with bleach daily!! We've been forced to 'social distance' for months!! The staff here even wear masks. None of this works!! None of it.

So, let me hit this nail on the head. Where and how does this virus keep managing to outsmart every protocol implemented?? Easy. I wish CDCR would listen. Many inmates have prison job assignments that require them to work INDOORS, in close proximity to staff!! Prisoners only catch this from staff who go home daily and bring in Covid-19 with them. Simple, right?? So why do they not limit - drastically limit - staff and inmate interactions!! Why is this so hard??

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This is a Chinese restaurant. Imagine the close quarters and number of workers at a prison kitchen.

Each time this virus breaks out in here, it's always traced back to the same types of jobs where staff and inmates work closely together. What jobs? Cooking, plumbing, plant operations, Prison Industry Authority, healthcare facility maintenance, construction, janitorial, to name several. It's maddening to watch the same mistakes made. Prisoners have to pay the price with a lockdown each and every time!! Enough.

I'm not sure how much info the prison is making available to the public. I'm sure this is not as well known as it should be. So I encourage anyone and everyone from the public to probe into this issue!! Keep your focus on this!! That's the only way it will improve!!

Finally, please pray for CIW's prisoner population, I fear this may get worse before it gets better...

 

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