WASCO, Calif. (KERO) — California Corrections and Rehabilitation said jail intake has been suspended at Wasco State Prison since Dec. 29th and will continue at least through the week of Jan. 10th due to COVID cases.
The department said that the decision will be reassessed after then based on the number of COVID cases at the prison. Currently, intake for North Kern State Prison and for the woman population remain open, according to the department.
The CDCR said the steps were taken to protect those who live in, work at, and visit the state prisons against the surge in cases from the omicron variant.
According to the CDCR, there currently are 1,159 active COVID cases among inmates and 2,349 active cases among staff statewide.
Some of the procedures the department has put in place:
- In-person and family visiting will be suspended starting the weekend of Jan. 14 through Jan. 23. In lieu of in-person visiting, the CDCR will continue to offer video visits.
- Unvaccinated staff are required to wear an N95 respirator while on institution grounds. Vaccinated staff may wear procedure masks unless otherwise required to wear additional personal protective equipment.
- If an institution is experiencing an outbreak, all staff are required to wear N95 respirators, which are also to be made available to inmates who wish to wear them.
- Ongoing twice-weekly testing for unvaccinated staff.
- Incarcerated workers must wear an N95 respirator at all times.