Hard to contain it

This story was told by a person incarcerated at Avenal.

UCI: About when did Avenal start getting COVID tests?

Caller: They got the tests in like June.

UCI: June?

Caller: May, early June?

UCI: So, have staff been following procedures to make sure that they don’t bring the infection in?

Caller: Yeah. They try to, but it’s kind of hard to contain it when everybody’s, when we’re all showering together, living together.

Bunked up together. It’s kind of hard to not catch it or to kind of self-quarantine when you’re showering, and eating, and then interacting with people that are positive, you know.

There was probably nothing they can do besides probably eliminate the population.

They tried to, but they just moved people around and it didn’t do no good.

UCI: So, do you know how COVID got into Avenal?

Caller: Well, it had to have been the staff or free staff. I mean there’s no other way, there was no visits or nothing. There was no other way for anybody, any inmate to contract it. There’s no other, there was no leaving the grounds and coming back.

So, the only way for them to get it is probably from a staff member, free staff, or correctional staff. From what I understood, one of the COs had tested positive. And they were the first ones. And then when the tests came in, one of the buildings tested. And before you knew it, this whole yard got tested and everybody was positive.