Punished for COVID

This story was told by a person incarcerated at Chuckawalla.

Caller: Let them ride the wave out. But they’re mixing up – what they don’t understand is they’re testing these dudes, they test negative, then they move them from B yard to A yard, then they test them a week or two later, then they’re positive. Now they got moved to another building, another yard, now they infected somebody else.

UCI: Yeah.

Caller: Like this virus is – is airborne. It’s, like, really easy to catch. You could hug somebody and get it. Like, it’s really bad. And the –

UCI: Yeah.

Caller: – dormitory setting and recycled air, so they’re not opening up –

UCI: Okay.

Caller: – doors to circulate new air. It’s just –

UCI: That’s interesting.

Caller: – And it’s eight people to cubes. So we’re – we’re like shoulder to shoulder.

UCI: Well, as far as testing people go, are you seeing that they’re testing people maybe a little bit too late? As you said, you know, they’ll test negative, and then they get moved, and then all of a sudden they’re positive, so do you feel like their testing of individuals is too late or too premature and then they don’t catch it?

Caller: Well, right now they’re just doing tests at random.

UCI: Okay.

Caller: So they might call ten people per building, and if one of them persons tests positive, then they remove their whole cube, which is eight people, and place them in ad seg. Which they’re penalizing that cube and they’re penalizing that person. They have a machine that they put out there for administration called a Sofia machine, which gives you the results like within two or three minutes.

UCI: Really?

Caller: So that’s what they – the officers say because the officers allegedly are getting tested every two weeks and that machine tells them if they’re positive or negative right there.

UCI: Mm-hmm.

Caller: So my whole thing is if they know that an inmate is going to test, why aren’t they using that machine for the inmates, leaving them on the yard before bringing them back in the building and just quarantining that one individual rather than making everybody uncomfortable. Like you shouldn’t get punished for being sick.