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Inmates discuss recent COVID-19 outbreak in Butte County jail

Action News Now spoke with four inmates at the Butte County Jail about the recent coronavirus outbreak. Listen to the raw interview in the audio players below

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 6:20 PM

CHICO, Calif. -Action News Now spoke with four inmates at the Butte County Jail about the recent coronavirus outbreak. Listen to the raw interview in the audio players below

A spike in coronavirus cases at the Butte County jail leaves 71 out of about 500 inmates infected.

"I haven’t done something so heinous to deserve what could possibly be a removal from my own life due to negligence," said an inmate.

Some inmates at the Butte County jail are scared for their life after the coronavirus rapidly spread through the jail and sent one to the hospital.

"We’ve always known that if it got in here that it was going to spread like wildfire and we weren’t going to have an opportunity to social distance," said, James Clinton an inmate from Chico.

The inmates that Action News Now talked to say they’re worried about the outsiders coming in.

"Some of them look pretty sick to us they’re coughing and hacking," he said.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office says if entering inmates have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 they’re quarantined.

"It looks like a drenched morgue in here everybody’s dragging around coughing sweating cold chills aches," he said.

The inmates tell me they weren’t given any masks until just last week

Action News Now asked an inmate if they are now required to masks, Clinton said, "Maam I'm looking across the room at 40 people and there's not a single mask being worn."

Action News Now as if the inmates feel like the staff is implementing better safety protocol.

"They come in at 7 o’clock at night take our vitals to take out temperature and that’s it, we’re basically breathing the same air as everyone in the pod I told him well what if I get better and somebody else still has it and get it again he says ok well we know that could possibly happen but still this is what we have to do," said Lawrence Lucero, an inmate transferred from San Francisco.

We checked with the sheriff’s office. They tell us they test everyone, do weekly temperature and symptom checks, and provide masks to inmates and staff and encourage but don’t mandate they wear them.

Inmates with confirmed cases are isolated together and away from the remainder of the population.

Officials say none of the staff members have tested positive, and the jail is working with public health and its medical services to mitigate the spread of the virus.

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Listen to the raw interview Action News Now had with four inmates, along with a full response from the sheriff's office discussing the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the Butte County Jail below:

Listen to part two of the interview below

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 819115

Reported Deaths: 15885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2702996576
Riverside594051226
San Bernardino55203955
Orange537511268
San Diego47180783
Kern32073369
Fresno28621390
Sacramento22590416
Alameda21383412
Santa Clara21379322
San Joaquin20411456
Contra Costa16793207
Stanislaus16512362
Tulare16204263
Ventura12875150
Imperial11908320
San Francisco11275104
Monterey1005073
San Mateo9990150
Santa Barbara9164113
Merced8961143
Kings768180
Sonoma7578122
Marin6734119
Solano644571
Madera458368
San Luis Obispo361231
Placer360448
Butte284844
Yolo282855
Santa Cruz239410
Napa172713
Sutter172011
San Benito135211
Yuba11728
El Dorado11514
Mendocino95418
Shasta94320
Lassen7410
Glenn5963
Tehama5855
Lake56611
Nevada5417
Colusa5356
Humboldt5128
Calaveras32214
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1660
Del Norte1441
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Paradise
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Chester
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Willows
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Record heat is possible for your first afternoon of October in parts of northern California, fire danger will be high, and air quality continues to be very impacted. A modest cooling trend will be a welcome change of pace through this weekend.
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