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The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) announced the release of a service that will keep tabs on cases of COVID-19 in California’s prisons. According to a press release on Thursday, the tool is meant to take steps toward greater transparency as concern continues to grow across the country about the vulnerability of those locked up to the spread of COVID-19.
The data, which the CDCR and CCHCS claim is updated several times a day, may also be a useful tool for families who have loved ones in the carceral system, as California suspended visitation several weeks ago in an attempt to minimize the potential for exposure inside the prison system. Some jails, such as those in Los Angeles County, have moved to dramatically reduce their population size by the greatest degree compatible with public safety.
According to the press release, thus far only 167 inmates have been tested for COVID-19 across the state, and one inmate at a California State Prison in Los Angeles has tested positive. Those wishing to track the number can do so here.