This story was told by a person incarcerated at San Quentin.
Caller: Well, after they brought the inmates from Chino and the whole outbreak here started, it was a huge mess. I think there have been about 28 deaths so far. And more than half of the population at one point or another was infected.
UCI: That’s a lot of people infected.
Caller: It is.
UCI: So, has staff been doing anything to help prevent the spread of COVID?
Caller: Essentially, they’re just doing what they’re being – they won’t do anything more than what they’re being forced to do by CDCR, which is the bare minimum. And in lots of cases, they’re not doing what they say they are.
UCI: Oh. So, about what month did COVID start to spread in San Quentin?
Caller: It was I think, my memory on that is not too sure. But I think it happened around May or June.
UCI: Around May or June, okay.
Caller: That was when the infected inmates were transferred here from Chino.
UCI: Oh, so prisoners have been transferring into the facility?
Caller: Yes. And what happened was the reason that that transfer caused the mass infection here at San Quentin is because after …
Well, first of all, the inmates that were transferred here from Chino were not tested for COVID-19 before the transfer. And after they were brought here, they were not quarantined for the mandatory 14 days after they were brought here to San Quentin, they were released into general population right away after arriving here.
Caller: Yes. So, like I said, they were not tested before the transfer. And once they arrived here, they were not quarantined for safety, for observation.
UCI: So, what do you think San Quentin needs to be doing to help stop the spread?
Caller: They are testing us weekly. Every Tuesday around maybe 10:00 or so in the morning we go outside of our dorm where they have tables setup.
And we swab our noses and give the swabs to a nurse who collects them in a vial and sends them out to be processed. They are requiring us to wear N95 face masks. And they will write us up, they will give us a 115 reprimand if we’re not wearing them in common areas such as the day room or on the yard.