CDCR Reports 1,400 New COVID-19 Active Cases Since Nov. 1 – Breaking Down COVID-19 in CDCR


As of November 20, there have been 18,109 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the CDCR system. Of those cases, 15,556 have been resolved while 2,001 remain active in custody. There have been 83 deaths throughout all facilities.

  • There has been a surge in testing and newly reported cases across CDCR, indicating that cases have been lingering in facilities for long but have gone undetected. On Nov. 2, CDCR reported nearly 600 total active cases and 24,000+ total tests administered in the 14-day period prior to it. Since, Nov. 2, 35,000+ total tests have been administered and the active in custody count has risen to 2,000. Nearly 1,400 new cases have been identified. It appears that increased testing is only uncovering the true extent of COVID-19’s spread in CDCR.
  • High Desert State Prison (HDSP) reported 82 new cases overnight. The facility now has a total of 423 confirmed cases with 418 cases active in custody. From Oct. 23 – Nov. 6, HDSP conducted only 262 tests, but they conducted 3,227 tests over the last two weeks. This increase of 2,965 tests, suggests an upward trend in testing. This is the largest increase in testing at any facility throughout CDCR over the last two weeks. 
  • Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility reported 45 new cases overnight, making 564 total active cases. Between Oct. 23 – Nov. 6, they conducted 1,480 tests, but over the last two weeks, 3,483 tests were administered. 
  • Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) reported 42 new cases overnight. They now have 119 cases active in custody. 

Note: The definition of tested aligns with that prescribed by Johns Hopkins University. The tested count reported by a facility includes the total number of tests for which results have returned and not the total number of tests administered.

Source: The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) reports COVID-19 information through a daily dashboard that is accessible here –

Reporting by Julietta Bisharyan, Nick Gardner, Jaskiran Soomal, Mengyu Yang & Aparna Komarla


About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts

5 thoughts on “CDCR Reports 1,400 New COVID-19 Active Cases Since Nov. 1 – Breaking Down COVID-19 in CDCR”

    1. Bill Marshall

      Yes… and nursing homes and convelescent places are doing great in culling the herd… and as long as they are cremated quickly, makes it safer for all of the rest of us!

      Very Republican, ‘conservative’ of you… to recommend ‘herd immunity’…

      Now if we just stopped staffing those facilities, to prevent community spread, “we’d get ‘er done!”

      Same for Correctional facilities… pull staff out, let nature take its course…


  1. Robert Canning

    This is a misleading headline. Here is the definition of design capacity:

    Design capacity is the number of inmates a prison can house based on one inmate per cell, single-level bunks in dormitories, and no beds in places not designed for housing.

    This was the definition the Supreme Court used in its 2011 order reducing the system’s population. It is based on one inmate per cell. The courts and most experts recognize that this is not how prisons are run – double-celling is the rule rather than the exception. The court ordered that the department reduce its population to 137.5% of capacity, which it did in 2017 or so. In January 2020 the system was at 134% of capacity (see and would have stayed about that level but for COVID-19.

    As far as I know, “design capacity” is not a big issue. What’s more important is the disease. Getting the population down to a level where the disease can be safely managed and the inmates protected is the top priority. The population of the 35 prisons has been below 100,000 for over a month.

    Using the term “design capacity” to somehow criticize CDCR is misleading and does not really address the issue – COVID. The actual number of inmates housed is the real issue, not design capacity.

    1. Aparna Komarla

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you for the feedback.

      I understand that despite the population being over capacity, it is significantly lesser than its previous size. However, I do not think that design capacity and acceptable population sizes during COVID-19 are mutually exclusive measurements. The definition you provided on design capacity is close to an ideal environment in prisons and jails to handle COVID-19, which would resemble the result of population growth control.

      If I understand your comment correctly, you are suggesting that aiming to bring populations below design capacity and reducing populations regardless of capacity are somehow different. Can you clarify where the distinction lies?

      From the Habeas case against San Quentin (

      “We therefore recommend that the prison population at San Quentin be reduced to 50% of current capacity (even further reduction would be more beneficial) via decarceration; this will allow every cell in North and West Blocks to be single-room occupancy.”

      They reference design capacity and not population size initially, but later use the terms interchangeably. It possibly implies that the outcomes are close enough and do not need to be distinguished.

      I’d appreciate your thoughts and thank you once again for sharing feedback.


Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for