Growing Concern Among San Quentin Inmates About Virus Spread

Kathy Novak
July 03, 2020 - 5:50 pm

    Almost 1,400 prisoners at San Quentin now have COVID- 19, that’s almost 40%of the population. Some of the printers there are now speaking out on their worries about the spread of the virus. 

    The number of cases is up by more than 350 just since Monday, 47 year old Dary has served 12 years for burglary and is due for parole in 2024. About 3 months ago, he was moved to the gym with around 100 other men.

    “We’ve all been tested and all of us have clean bills of health as of a week and a half ago,” he said, “the guys who were found positive, they shipped those two guys out and two of their friends, because they hung out with them so much they decided to go too.”

    He says those men were moved into isolation. The others are no longer being allowed out for recreation and he feels the gym is the safest place to be right now.

    “North Block, West Block, South Block, all of the buildings have COVID in there.” he said.

    Some family members of the men in those blocks say they don’t know if their loved ones are sick because they haven’t been getting phone calls. More than 100 staff members have also tested positive. All employees at adult institutions in California are now required to get tested.

    The California Department of Corrections also said Friday that two death row inmates at San Quentin who were infected with COVID-19 have died. 57-year-old Scott Thomas Erskine and 59-year-old Manuel Machado Alvarez were both being treated at outside hospitals for coronavirus related complications when they passed.