This story was told by a person incarcerated at CMC (California Men’s Colony).
UCI: How has your facility handled COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak and then till now? Has it changed at all?
Caller: I think that in the beginning of the outbreak as well as with the rest of the nation, CDC got caught off guard. There was a lot of procedures that were just dumped on us. But they didn’t stop school in the beginning. Then they stopped the schools.
Then they started trying to enforce yards but maybe trying to tell the population to just keep social distance, which really didn’t happen not even a month after. Then they finally say wear the mask and start doing announcements every morning. Like at 6 o’clock until it became like you have to wear the mask, mandatory. But it wasn’t really like it was enforced as much amongst the staff. It was more like the inmates have to wear it.
You see the staff a bunch it was like debates between well we can never give COVID to one another, is only the staff that bring it in so once- once they stay away from us we will be safe. Then as it progress there was a few outbreaks that prompt the change of regulations.
Like, first it was like three buildings able to go to yard together but then it was just two buildings, one in the lower yard, one in the upper yard. Then it was to quarantine people in place so that if let’s say if, in foxyard there was there is 10 buildings so there will be building 10, building three that can go out, that couldn’t go to phones. They went to eat their meals after everybody was done because they have potential COVID within them.
They pretty much were secluded from everybody else. And so they progress minimally until they started sending people to next dorm to be quarantine and isolation in single cells. Not that it helped much because we get the COVID from staff.