Two employees at the California Institution for Men in Chino tested positive for coronavirus and inmates who recently arrived at the reception center from county jails will be quarantined for 14 days, according to a statement released late Saturday from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The names, ages, cities of residences and ranks of the two California Institution for Men employees were not disclosed.

They are two of three California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employees in the state to test positive for COVID-19 after a positive test was confirmed for an employee at California State Prison, Sacramento.

“There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the incarcerated population,” the statement said. “If at any point it is determined there is a potential exposure to the incarcerated population, the agency will restrict movement at the institution while a contact investigation is underway and quarantine those deemed at-risk for an observation period. CDCR will coordinate with local public health officials for guidance with potential exposure notifications, contact investigation requirements and appropriate timelines to ensure safe returns to work following full recovery.”

The California Institution for Men is located at 14901 Central Ave.

“The well-being of all who live in, work in, and visit state prisons are of the utmost importance to the department and many measures are in place in prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19,” the statement said.

Inmates arriving at all state prisons will be screened for flu-like symptoms, including COVID-19, and employees will ask the inmate if they have a cough, fever or difficultly breathing. 

Their temperatures will also be taken.

Should an inmate answer 'yes' to any question, or has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, they will be isolated.

Inmates will be quarantined if they recently arrived at the Reception Center from a county jail for 14 days if they answered 'no' to any of the questions.

“All other inmates returning to CDCR or transferring between prisons who answer ‘no’ to all of the screening questions may be housed as appropriate per custody and clinical protocol that does not require placing in quarantine,” according to the statement.

Prison officials have encouraged social distancing in the state’s prisons, limiting groups of 10 or more, and have provided additional space between bunks.

Scheduled movements between inmates have been minimized to help prevent the mixing of people from different housing areas, encouraged social distancing during yard time and dining schedules have been adjusted to allow more time for cleaning and disinfecting of dining halls.

Prison employees will carry up to two ounces of hand sanitizer and inmates have been provided additional soap and hospital-grade disinfectant, officials said.

“All CDCR institutions have been instructed to conduct additional deep-cleaning efforts in high-traffic, high volume areas, including visiting and health care facilities,” the statement reads. “Additional hand sanitizer dispensing stations are being procured and will be placed inside adult institutions entrances and visiting areas.”

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