COVID-19 Outbreak at San Bernardino’s California Institute for Men in Chino

COVID-19 Outbreak at San Bernardino’s California Institute for Men in Chino

VOICE News Staff

Chino, CAEleven staff and one inmate at the California Institution for Men (CIM) in Chino tested positive for COVID-19. Tests for two staff and three inmates are pending.

Except for the inmate, the eleven CIM staff have been self-quarantined away from their place of employment. The Chino facility is under the authority of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

San Bernardino County Public Health is working closely with CIM and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to address the situation—this includes both testing and contact tracing.

“CDCR and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) are dedicated to the safety of everyone who lives in, works in, and visits our state prisons,” said CIM Correctional Lieutenant Tom Lopez. We are continuously evaluating and implementing proactive measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our CDCR population and the community-at-large safe.”

The CDCR’s plan to further protect staff and inmates from the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons includes the following:

  • Temporarily suspend the intake of new inmates and cancel in-person visits.
  • Create increased capacity and space to help with inmate movement, physical distancing, and isolation efforts.
  • Make greater use of the state’s private and public Community Correctional Facilities, as well as maximize open spaces in prisons, such as gymnasiums, to increase capacity and inmate movement options.

CDCR has protocols for testing and quarantine in place that follow recommendations by CDPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On Tuesday, March 31, California announced plans to release 3,500 inmates to reduce crowding as the coronavirus spreads to prison facilities around the state. The action is intended to slow the spread of the virus and protect those who live and work within the state’s 35 prisons.

The discharges, expected to occur over the next sixty days, are largely considered to be in response to mounting criticism over what critics perceive as the state’s inaction relative to protecting inmates confined to these facilities from the dangers posed by COVID-19.

For information about the coronavirus crisis, visit the County’s coronavirus website at sbcovid19.com. You can also contact the COVID-19 hotline from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (909) 387-3911, or email the County at coronavirus@dph.sbcounty.gov.

 

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