Vaccinations Required for CDCR In-Person Visitations, Rules Judge Tigar

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By Yasmeen Khan & Simran

The Covid In-Custody Project partners with the Davis Vanguard to bring quantitative and qualitative reporting on the pandemic’s impact on county jails and CDCR to the public eye. Read our bi-weekly update on CDCR’s COVID-19 crisis below. Visit our website to view and download raw data on cases, testing, releases and vaccinations.

CDCR Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and Outcomes

As of Oct. 31, there have been a total of 51,230 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the CDCR system – 190 of them emerged in the last two weeks. 207 cases are active in custody, while 618 have been released while active. This is an increase of 195 cases in the past two weeks. 

Since the start of the pandemic, 50,164 confirmed cases have been resolved, and 241 individuals have died.

On Oct. 4 an outbreak developed at CA State Prison Corcoran (COR) with 3 cases. This week the outbreak has continued to steadily improve. Cases have gone down from 87 to 59 since the beginning of this week, a decrease of 28 cases. 

Last weekend an outbreak emerged at Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF), starting with 11 cases. Since then cases have drastically increased to 60. 

The staff vaccination rate is 55%, 27% lower than the resident vaccination rate of 82%. 

On Friday, Oct. 29 an outbreak emerged at Central CA Women’s Facility (CCWF), with four cases active in custody. Over the weekend case numbers soared to 41 cases, an increase of 37 cases in just the past two days.

This week three new outbreaks have emerged at CA Correctional Center (CCC), Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP), and Folsom State Prison (FSP), with three cases.  

In the past two weeks, Wasco State Prison (WSP) has tested the most individuals, 51% of its population. California City Correctional Facility (CAC) has tested the least, 18% of its population.

There are currently 99,973 incarcerated persons in California’s prisons – an increase of 847 individuals in the past two weeks. 

Effects on the Public

In late September, an order under Plata v. Newsom attempted to mandate vaccines for all correctional officers and staff entering California’s Prison.

It has since been blocked by Kern County Judge Bernard Barmann issuing a temporary restraining order that prevents enforcement of the vaccination mandate for guards and peace officers. 

While staff continues to push back enforcement of a vaccine mandate, CDCR has decided to go forward with a new mandate under the Plata Order Regarding Mandatory Vaccination for Incarcerated People

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide updated information regarding COVID-19 vaccination  requirements as they relate to  visiting and  those  working  off-site   work detail (OSWD). 

Per court Plata Court Order issued on Sept. 27, the CDCR will require incarcerated  people to  be fully vaccinated, or have an approved medical or religious exemption by Dec. 20, 2021, in order to participate in in-person visiting or be newly assigned to an OSWD.

This mandate also holds that only those who have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series shall be eligible to participate in in-person visiting to include family (overnight) visiting. All others will be eligible for video-visiting.

Vaccinations

As of Oct. 31, 2,125 patients have received their first round of vaccines statewide. 77, 263 are fully vaccinated. 78% of the total prison population is fully vaccinated, and 2% is partially vaccinated.

1,570 staff members have received their first round of vaccines statewide. 42,059 staff are fully vaccinated. 63% of the total staff population is fully vaccinated, and 2% is partially vaccinated. 

Currently, Correctional Training Facility (CTF) has vaccinated the most incarcerated individuals, 91% of its population. Wasco State Prison (WSP), on the other hand, has the lowest vaccination rate, 47%. 

Division of Juvenile Justice

As of Oct. 15, there are no active cases of COVID-19 among youth. A total of 220 cases have been resolved since the first case was diagnosed in June, 2020.

A Year Ago Today

On Oct. 30 2020, there were 15,824 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in CDCR and 78 deaths.  

On Oct. 31 2020  an incarcerated person housed at California Institution for Men passed away from causes related to COVID-19.

References:

https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/covid19/plata-order-regarding-mandatory-vaccination-for-incarcerated-people/

https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/covid19/population-status-tracking/

https://www.newsweek.com/judge-grants-california-prison-guards-block-vaccine-mandate-1638989

​​https://sjvsun.com/california/newsom-appeals-ruling-to-resist-court-ordered-vax-mandate-for-prison-guards/

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article254569157.html

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-09-24/newsom-covid-19-vaccines-prison-guards

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About The Author

Aparna Komarla leads the Covid In-Custody project, which partners with the Davis Vanguard to bring reporting on the pandemic's impact on county jails and CDCR to the public eye. See www.covidincustody.org for more information.

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