California’s San Quentin State Prison, where a deadly coronavirus outbreak was reported last summer, has been fined more than $400,000 for workplace safety violations.
The state’s Department of Industrial Relations’ division of occupational safety and health (Cal-OHSA) issued nearly 15 violations, culminating in a $421,880 fine — one of the highest penalties issued by the state for Covid-19 violations.
The prison failed to report infections or deaths of employees, according to the violation. From June to July, there were five instances of employees hospitalized with Covid-19.
Inspectors also found that there were no “suitable cleansing agents” in the employee restroom. The eyewash station was also inaccessible.
The citations come just days after the state’s inspector general released a report saying the prison’s “deeply flawed” detainee transfers contributed to the outbreak.
“San Quentin State Prison has made many improvements and already remedied several of the citations in the eight months since Cal-OSHA visited the institution. The visits took place last June and July, and we have worked with Cal-OSHA representatives throughout the pandemic to ensure regulations were met and concerns addressed expeditiously,” the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said in a statement.
San Quentin State Prison, located about 20 miles north of San Francisco, has confirmed 2,151 cases and 28 related deaths — the highest number of fatalities among the state’s prison system.
More than 40% of inmates there have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past two weeks, according to the CDCR.