Less than six months after California prisons went on modified program, due to the coronavirus pandemic, San Quentin State Prison had the highest number of cases in the state, topping 2,000, TMP reported.
New cases reported among prisoners reached an all-time high in early August after slowing down in June, TMP reported in August. “The growth in recent weeks was driven by big jumps in prisoners testing positive in Florida, California and the federal Bureau of Prisons as well as outbreaks in Arkansas, Hawaii and Oklahoma.”
The first spike in coronavirus cases occurred in April, TMP reported. That’s when Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and other states began testing incarcerated people. Test results have led medical professionals to believe the virus had spread to people in prison in higher numbers than thought previously, but with fewer symptoms.
“There have been at least 115,106 cases of coronavirus reported among prisoners,” TMP reported, adding that more than 87,000 prisoners have recovered.
The report showed a state-by-state analysis of the virus, Texas leading with 20,617 cases. Florida followed with 15,602 cases and California came in third with 10,658 cases. The federal prison system had 13,139 cases nationwide.
“The first known COVID-19 death of a prisoner was in Georgia” on March 26, TMP reported. “Since then, at least 972 other prisoners have died of coronavirus-related causes.
The top three states with virus deaths were Texas, 139; Florida, 102; and Ohio, 90. California ranked fifth with 58 deaths. The federal prison system reported 125 deaths.
“While we know more about how prisoners are getting sick, another group of people is at risk in these facilities,” TMP stated. Listed among them are correctional officers, wardens, nurses, chaplains and other staff. “We know little about how coronavirus is affecting them, though they have the potential to carry it both into facilities and back out to their communities.”
According to TMP, of the more than 25,000 prison staff who have tested positive for the virus nationwide, “74 deaths have been publicly reported.”
“What we do know is that in several states, prison employees began to get sick before the people they oversee,” TMP stated.