An Avoidable Outbreak

When researchers were invited inside California’s San Quentin prison, they found an ideal breeding ground for COVID-19, Nature’s Amy Maxmen reports.
 
“Ventilation is poor—windows have been welded shut and the fan system does not appear to have been turned on for years,” they wrote in an urgent memo from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and the Amend program at UC San Francisco.
 
They recommended reducing the facility’s population by half to avoid “dire implications.” That didn’t happen. Multiple times, the prison declined free testing help.
 
Within 2 weeks of the memo, cases shot up from 198 to 1,389.
 
San Quentin’s outbreak is not unique. New Bloomberg School research found that the proportion of US prison residents who tested positive for COVID-19 was 5.5 times higher than the general population. 

And with prison work camps under lockdown, California is entering another dangerous fire season with a severely depleted workforce of inmate fire crewsthe state relies on to battle blazes, The Sacramento Bee reports.  
 

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