Up to 16 inmates from San Quentin State Prison have been hospitalized in Alameda County hospitals, Health Care Services Agency Director Coleen Chawla said on Tuesday. As of Monday, there were 8-9 of those who remain hospitalized following a major outbreak of covid-19 at the state prison in Marin. In addition, between 15-18 San Quentin inmates with covid-19 are being quarantined in Alameda County hotels under the Project Room Key program, Chawla added.
More than 1,600 cases of covid-19 have been reported at San Quentin recently, including 10 deaths. More than 200 employees at the state prison have also been infected.
At Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, six employees have tested positive for covid-19, said Alameda County Sheriff’s Commander Tom Madigan. One sheriff’s deputy, who was assigned to the county courthouse in Oakland, was infected and has been on a ventilator for more two weeks, he said.
In an effort to reduce the inmate population at San Quentin, the state Department of Corrections has reached out to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department about the potential use of the Glenn Dyer Jail in Oakland for San Quentin inmates.
Madigan told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that he believes the state’s interest is in the very early stages and focused on feasibility. “I think it’s more inquiry,” Madigan said.
Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Richard Valle asked county staff to keep the board abreast of the situation.
The Glenn Dyer Jail, located on 6th Street in downtown Oakland was closed by the Sheriff’s Department last year as a cost-cutting measure. With a housing crisis raging, there were some previous suggestions for using the building to house the homeless.