SAN QUENTIN – Administrators at San Quentin State Prison (SQ) continue to restore services to inmates as the institution deals with a number of confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease.
Inmates will be receiving hot meals in addition to boxed meals, and out-of-cell time for inmates has resumed. Inmates have been provided boxed meals only and have had limited movement since August 27 to help facilitate an investigation into an outbreak of the pneumonia-like disease.
All inmate services such as the law library and dental appointments have resumed, and officials are coordinating to get inmates back to their work and education assignments.
Inmates in the general population and reception center are still taking showers in portable units to avoid exposure to steam or mist that could contain the Legionella bacteria.
SQ officials are working to provide inmates in the Administrative Segregation Units and Condemned Row with access to the portable shower units.
Secondary water sources such as bottled water and water tanks will continue to be used for consumption until it is deemed safe to resume normal water use.
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia. It’s caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila carried via aerosolized water, such as steam, mist and moisture. It is not transmitted from person to person and has a normal incubation period from two to 10 days after exposure.
As of Sept. 1, there are still only six confirmed cases of inmates with Legionnaires’ disease.
There are 85 inmates under observation for respiratory illness but who have not been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease and are being treated at SQ’s on-site medical unit.
Staff and inmates at SQ have been sent educational material to inform them of what they should do if they begin to display symptoms.
There have not been any confirmed cases of staff with Legionnaires’ disease.
SQ officials have been in communication with the Men’s Advisory Council, a representative group of inmates who advise and communicate with the Warden and other staff on matters of interest and concern to the inmate general population.
SQ is a reception center for new inmates to the California prison system. Intake has been temporarily halted since Aug. 27 as the investigation continues.
All inmate visiting and volunteer programs have also been halted as the investigation is ongoing.
SQ houses approximately 3,700 inmates, including low-, medium-, and maximum-custody inmates as well as condemned inmates. The prison also has approximately 1,800 employees.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2015 CONTACT: Dana Simas