Hospitals could feel impact as coronavirus cases at San Quentin continue to skyrocket

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – One of the reasons Marin County is slowing down it’s reopening is the outbreak at San Quentin Prison.

As cases skyrocket there, the impact could be felt at local hospitals.

The outbreak of COVID-19 at San Quentin prison is getting worse.

“Over 1,000 prisoners have already tested positive at San Quentin Prison,” Governor Newsom said. 

In fact, currently 1,021 inmates at San Quentin are positive for COVID-19 and almost all of those cases are new within the last 14 days.

“What’s most concerning is the velocity of the increase in cases,” Dr. Matt Willis said.

Though it’s the state that oversees the care of the inmates, it’s Marin County and surrounding counties that will need to take care of those who get really sick.

“Our regional hospitals potentially will get overwhelmed with this issue and that’s my biggest concern right now,” Willis said. 

Currently, half of the 14 patients hospitalized in Marin County for COVID-19 have come from the prison but with cases spiking, county health officer Dr. Matt Willis says the number of hospital beds needed will be much higher.

“Right now, it’s 1000 cases and it’s still rising so we can anticipate 2000 inmates get infected and if 10% of them require hospitalization, that would be 200 individuals,” Willis said.

“We have formalized plans including the prospect to use Seton hospital,”

On Monday, the governor said plans are in the works to transfer some of the sickest inmates to Seton Medical Center in Daly City but Willis says the real solution is to create a  field hospital on site.

“Their models for it, often under a tent and you have equipment and tent and you can develop a hospital in a day with infrastructure brought in from the outside,”

State officials have confirmed they have set up tent-like structures on site but they didn’t get into details about what would be going on inside.  

As you know, this outbreak is believed to have started with the transfer of a COVID positive inmate from another prison.  

State senators will be looking into this at a hearing on Wednesday.  

In addition to the COVID positive inmates, at least 90 San Quentin staff have also tested positive.

Latest Stories:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tracking COVID-19 in the Bay Area

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News