News Releases

CDCR/CHCS: First Inmate Tests Positive for COVID‑19

SACRAMENTO — California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) today announced the first inmate within the California state prison system has tested positive for COVID-19, also known as the new coronavirus. The patient is in stable condition and is being treated on-site.

The patient, an inmate at California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC), has been in isolation since March 19 after he notified institution health care staff that he was not feeling well. He was tested for COVID-19 on March 20 and the positive test result was received March 22. The Agency will restrict movement at the institution while a contact investigation is underway and quarantine those deemed at-risk for an observation period. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has been notified.

The Agency has protocols in place that follow recommendations for quarantines set forth by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any incarcerated individual who shows symptoms for COVID-19 will be tested for COVID-19 as appropriate. We are working to provide updated testing numbers on our website this week.

CDCR and CCHCS remain agile in response to any potential case of COVID-19 based on the factors and risk related to that case with the top priority being the safety and protection of staff, the population, volunteers, visitors and surrounding communities. We will continue to work closely with CDPH and our county partners to monitor and respond accordingly to the situation. LAC health care and custody professionals take the health and safety of staff and the incarcerated population very seriously and are taking all appropriate measures to minimize exposure to others.

Rehabilitative programs, group events, and in-person educational classes have been suspended at all institutions, along with expanded precautions for all who enter state prison for work.

(View a timeline of COVID-19 preparedness updates.)

You can also follow CDCR and CCHCS COVID-19 status page for additional updates and information.