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Assemblywoman Dahle Working with CDCR, CCPOA, and County Officials During COVID Outbreak

Monday, July 6th, 2020

First District Assemblywoman Megan Dahle is working to facilitate communication regarding the COVID-19 situation at High Desert and CCC, convening calls with the Secretary of CDCR, President of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and Lassen County Officials.

As of Monday evening there were 226 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Susanville’s two prisons, a number that has grown exponentially in the past three weeks.

“Lassen County and its neighbors in the North State have done an extraordinary job of flattening the curve and keeping their communities safe during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Dahle in a statement released jointly with her husband, Senator Brian Dahle.

“It is maddening that this hard work is now threatened by the misguided actions of the state government itself, after botched inmate transfers have led to more than 200 cases among inmates and staff at the two state prisons in Susanville.”

Dahle is referring to the transfer of COVID positive inmates from San Quentin to CCC in June, a move which violated the state’s quarantine protocols according to local health officials.

On Thursday Dahle spoke with Lassen County leadership and Ralph Diaz, Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

According to Dahle CDCR has made several commitments. It will end the recently announced plan to transfer inmates sick with COVID-19 from fire camps around the state to the California Correctional Center, issuing new plans in writing.

The state prisons will embed staff in the Lassen County emergency operations command to work with the county and its public-health team to keep the community safe, and to communicate with the leaders and residents of the county about this fast-developing situation.

It has halted normal transfers between state prisons, and when they resume they will be under much stricter mandatory protocols to ensure adequate testing before transfers and quarantine upon arrival.

High Desert State Prison and CCC are aggressively testing both inmates and staff and will continue to do so.

“These four steps are important to help mitigate farther spread outside of the facilities. We will continue to actively work with local City, County officials, CDCR and CCPOA on the issue and update our community on the status along the way.”

The CDCR, shortly after Dahle’s call, issued a memo changing where COVID positive inmates in fire camps would be sent for treatment and quarantine. CCC, according to the memo, will no longer accept any camp inmate requiring transfer back to an institution.

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