Prisons cooperate with local officials in COVID-19 testing

While CDCR’s attorneys allege in a June 5 statement the counties lack jurisdiction over the prisons, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the past two days the Lassen County Public Health Department and our local prisons worked together to test more than 2,000 inmates and approximately 180 employees for the virus according to a Friday, June 26 statement from the Lassen COVID-19 Incident command.

In a previous statement on June 5, the general counsel for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation issued this statement in regards to a local health officer’s orders in Kings County: “While local health officers are able to issue orders to other governmental entities to control the spread of the communicable disease, this is limited to entities within the local health officer’s jurisdiction. The state is not an entity under local health officers’ jurisdictions, and thus local health officer orders are not valid against the state. As a state agency CDCR and its institutions will follow the direction for CDPH.”

According to the statement from the command, “State Institutions like CDCR do not have an obligation to work with their local counterparts. That said, our local health officer, the Lassen County Incident Command, and the Lassen County Public Health Department will continue working with CDCR to provide testing and supplies. In the last two days, Public Health and CDCR worked together to test over 2,000 inmates and around 180 employees.”

The LassenCares website, the county’s information portal to the public, has restructured reporting to reflect the increase in cases at CDCR institutions. CDCR is currently reporting numbers for inmate and staff positives on their website. We highly encourage you to verify the information yourselves using the links provided.

LassenCares will continue to report the information provided to them by the taskforce in an attempt to preserve confidentially of the individuals who have tested positive.

Find the Inmate Tracker at cdcr.ca.gov/covid19/population-status-tracking/; and Employee Status at cdcr.ca.gov/covid19/cdcr-cchcs-covid-19-status/

For more information regarding recent activity at CDCR, reach out to the Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Ralph Diaz.

The incident commander and public information officer held a Facebook live question and answer forum yesterday. It can be viewed on the lassencares Facebook page or on LassenCare.org.

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