By Kelly Moran
SACRAMENTO – California State Sen. Nancy Skinner called the California Correctional Peace Officers Association’s decision to attend a meeting in Las Vegas at the end of the month “offensive” and “dangerous” in light of mass Covid-19 deaths in the state’s correctional facilities.
While CCPOA plans to visit Caesar’s Palace, one of Vegas’s well known, luxury hotels and casinos, the cases of those infected with the deadly COVID-19 virus are rising rapidly in their own prisons, Skinner noted.
“The decision by California’s prison guard union to refuse to comply with the current ban on nonessential travel in order to attend a junket in Las Vegas is offensive, flat out wrong, and extremely dangerous,” said Sen. Skinner.
According to news reports in the Sacramento Bee, “representatives from all 35 prisons” as well as “members of the union’s committees along with retired chapter members” have received an invite for the two day meeting, scheduled for Jan. 26 and 27.
The out-of-state visit is inapposite of what the California Department of Public Health maintains, that staying home is truly the only way to prevent oneself from contracting the virus and spreading it to others.
The newly updated travel advisory states “persons arriving in California from other states or Californians returning from other states or countries could introduce new sources of infection (potentially including new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus) to California.”
“Avoiding travel reduces the risk of virus transmission, including by reducing the risk that new sources of infection and, potentially, new virus strains will be introduced to California,” the department wrote in the advisory.
The CDPH also mandates that anybody who travels to any other states or countries must self-quarantine for 10 days after they return to California.
“Your disregard of public health orders will worsen the crisis,” Sen. Skinner continued, “and endanger not only the individuals who attend, their families, and their communities, but also everyone who lives or works in California’s corrections facilities.”
“I call on CCPOA leaders to stop this reckless gathering,” Skinner said, “and [to] comply with all state and local public health orders.”
Kelly Moran is currently a senior at Santa Clara University, though originally from Connecticut. She is majoring in English, with a focus on British Literature and Professional Writing, and is also minoring in Journalism.
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