This story was told by a person incarcerated at Chino.
UCI: And what’s the current COVID-19 situation at your facility?
Caller: It’s the worst in the whole state.
UCI: What is troubling or concerning you about it?
Caller: Uh everything, the whole medical system and the way they went about it, the massive movement they made. They did it twice, and after every uh massive movement within the facility, everybody got sick right after it.
UCI: Can you tell me about those movements? What’s been happening?
Caller: Well, what happened was that when this whole pandemic started, the camp guards, they didn’t know how to react to it. They didn’t have a plan. They had never faced anything like this. So, they didn’t know what to do.
So, what they did was uh, they kind of shut down the whole program, and what I mean by that is they like cut down on the yard time and the dayroom time. So, instead of letting everybody out at once, they were letting 10 people at a time for an hour or less than that. So instead of actually leaving people in their cell, that way, you know what I mean, it wouldn’t spread.
So, when they did that thing, everybody started getting sick. What they did was they designated one building for our isolation, basically, which was to be the quarantine. But unfortunately that’s not enough for everybody.
So, what happened was when they started – when they needed more beds, they started moving people around within the facility. And when that happened everybody started getting sick because there were people coming from other yards that were sick, and they kept spreading it.
UCI: And when did they start moving people?
Caller: They, I don’t know exactly.
UCI: That’s okay.
Caller: The first time was in September. We got tested on the 25th, and that’s when like everybody was sick, nearly. I even got my test results. Everybody was sick at that time.
UCI: What do you think would make the situation at your facility better right now?
Caller: Give them the proper training, proper training, and if people would actually like be like – I don’t know. They don’t know how to, they don’t know how react to this. They’re not trained properly. They don’t even follow the guidelines when it comes to safety, you know, wear a mask and all that.
UCI: Okay. Is there anything else that you would want people to know about what it’s like inside right now?
Caller: Yeah. I think your health, if people really know what goes down inside the prison as far as – people think that we’re being cared for and everything in the right way. Unfortunately, we’re not. And it’s not because they don’t want to do it, but it’s because they don’t know how. They have to be trained properly in order for them to know how to react to these things.
And unfortunately because they don’t, we’re paying the price. We’re the institution that has the highest deaths because of this COVID-19. We are actually the first institution that started with this. We had it bad the second time. The second wave, when it hit in September, maybe the whole prison tested positive for it. It’s unfortunate that these people don’t – they still haven’t trained them properly.
I think uh, I don’t know, I think they should be – they should focus more on that, on the medical. I think they should focus more on overlooking the medical system and proper training of the staff.