The most severe outbreak of COVID-19 in Marin occurred at the San Quentin prison when the state transferred infected inmates to the prison where previously no cases were recorded. The virus raced through the facility. Twenty-eight inmates died and 75 percent of the San Quentin population were infected.
Last week a three-judge panel in Oakland took the state to task for the mishap and ordered Gov. Gavin Newsom to cut the Marin prison’s population in half. The court characterized the infection of San Quentin as a matter of “deliberate indifference”.
The governor fired the state doctor that approved the transfer.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the “notoriously outdated San Quentin prison: can house no more than 1,775 inmates, “half of what the prison’s population was in June and a drop of more than a third from the roughly 2,900 people currently housed there.”
“By all accounts, the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin has been the worst epidemiological disaster in California’s correctional history. And there is no assurance San Quentin will not experience a second or even third spike,” Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline wrote in the opinion. “Failure to immediately adopt and implement measures designed to eliminate double celling, dormitory-style housing and other measures to permit physical distancing between inmates is morally indefensible and constitutionally untenable.”