Lompoc Prison Now Reports 59 Positive Coronavirus Tests
USP Lompoc (Photo: Federal Bureau of Prisons)
The United States Penitentiary (USP) Lompoc is now reporting 45 inmates and 14 staff members are infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) as of Saturday. That's a 210% increase from one week ago.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) has called the situation an "outbreak." In their daily briefings, the staff and inmates are now being recorded as part of the county's total numbers.
On Friday, PHD Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg reported 10 of the infected inmates are hospitalized with 2 in the intensive care unit (ICU), as well as 1 hospitalized staff member.
Dr. Ansorg stated the outbreak is of great concern to PHD as there is a large number of people congregated in four buildings in a small area. The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports a total of 1,487 inmates on the property, not including staff.
The inmates that are confirmed to be positive, and those suspected, are housed in a unit that can hold 100 inmates with complete isolate, said Dr. Ansorg.
PHD is in constant communication with officials at the prison discussing infection control and have the potential to plan a makeshift hospital on the premises. Dr. Ansorg confirmed the prison is a federal institution that qualifies for a lot of federal resources and aid.
The United States Penitentiary (USP) Lompoc is reporting 17 inmates and 2 staff members infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) as of Saturday.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is currently reporting 120 inmates and 54 staff members have tested positive throughout its 22 penitentiaries throughout the United States.
As of Saturday, Lompoc is rated third in the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases in all prisons followed by Danbury, CT and Oakdale, LA.
Lompoc's Prison houses 975 inmates as a medium-security U.S. penitentiary with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp.
In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has implemented modified operations including the suspension of in-person visits and limited inmate movement.
"Enhanced health screening of staff will be implemented in areas with "sustained community transmission" and at medical referral centers. Sustained community transmission is determined by the CDC and will be indicated on the map on this resource page where state community transmission indicates "Yes". Such screening includes self-reporting and temperature checks for the next 30 days, at which time the process will be reevaluated," according to the BOP website.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department didn't comment on the increase of cases in Lompoc during a press conference Friday. Dr. Henning Ansorg confirmed inmates are under the direction of the federal government and are not counted in the Public Health Department's total number of positive cases. Staff members, however, are included.