This story was told by a person incarcerated at Avenal.
UCI: What is the current COVID-19 situation at your facility?
Caller: We are currently within our building, we are in a pod situation or dorm situation. And they have emptied out one dorm, presently, because there was one person who tested positive.
So they sent that person to another yard at the prison. And the rest of the dorm, who did not test positive but was exposed, was sent to an alternate yard. That is the only case that we have currently.
UCI: And what do you think is going okay in regards of your facility situation? Like what do you think they’re handling okay within the facility?
Caller: Well, at this point, they have done a better job of testing more frequently. All of us, within the building, that have not contracted the COVID virus are tested weekly now. And they have a much quicker response when somebody does test positive.
UCI: Interesting. Okay. And what is troubling or concerning to you, personally?
Caller: Well, really, it’s the exposure. 80 percent of our- not only our building, here, but of the yard that I’m on, has tested positive. And there has been- up until the recent few weeks, there had been no action taken to separate us in any way from those that were positive.
When our first major outbreak hit within our yard, which was four or five months ago, yeah, there was no action taken to separate those of us who were negative. In my particular dorm, there were, there’s eight people in our dorm. And six of them had tested positive.
And the two of us that did not, you know, there was nothing done. We were kept within that same dorm. And it was the same in every dorm within our building. There was no effort made to keep us separated.
It was just the, you know, kind of whoever’s going to get it is going to get it. And that was it. You know, there have been several people that originally tested negative, you know, in the following couple weeks, ended up becoming positive because they were exposed to it.
There were very few of us that remained, like I said, out of our near 200 within our building, there are about 30, maybe 35 that continue to be negative.
UCI: Oh, wow.