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How the California Men's Colony is trying to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19, among inmates and staff

Report: Fire, safety issues found in CMC facility
Posted at 11:48 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 02:48:55-04

San Luis Obispo County health officials and the California Men's Colony are working to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 in the prison -- after the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department reported five more inmates tested positive, bringing the total number to eight.

Now, officials are working to limit the spread of the virus any further at the state prison. As county health officials work to ramp up testing, they warn the number of cases may also increase.

"We are going to ramp up testing. As we do that we may well see more cases, as we did in this case," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer.

The first three cases of coronavirus at the California Men's Colony were reported between April 11 and April 24, with an employee also having tested positive.

The presence of COVID-19 has prompted California Men's Colony management to implement safety measures inside the facility.

The California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation said in a statement: "CMC has implemented physical-distancing measures, provided masks for inmates and staff, conducting verbal and temperature screenings whenever anyone enters the institution, and is providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer in dispenser stations in housing units, dining halls, work change areas, and other areas where sinks and soap are not immediately available."

The CMC has also stopped allowing inmates to use the yard, isolated anyone showing symptoms, and increased cleaning in high traffic areas to limit the spread.

According to the county public health department, the California Men's Colony health care staff are regularly making rounds and conducting health screenings of all inmates to quickly identify anyone with new symptoms.