According to officials, when the weekend started there was about 100 infections at San Quentin, on Monday the cases topped 300. On Tuesday, according to data on the CDCR website, 407 inmates and 47 staff members were infected, bringing the case total to 454.
"There was a series of gaffes, many errors that led to this crisis," said California Assembly member, Marc Levine, who represents Southern Sonoma County and Marin County.
"All of us should be concerned particularly as our local hospital systems are threatened by being overwhelmed."
There are almost 4,000 staff and inmates at San Quentin. Levine says the COVID-19 outbreak will likely top 800 people.
RELATED: San Quentin prison becomes COVID-19 hot spot, conditions described as version of hell
"If the corrections department had planned ahead of time, if they'd listened to public health protocols, we wouldn't be in the situation that we're in," said Levine, who worries CDCR has not been paying attention to medical officials. "I am concerned that health professionals don't have decision making authority at CDCR, and those that do may have made very bad decisions."
"Prisons are a setup for outbreaks right off the bat because you have large numbers of people, very close confinement," said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County's Public Health Officer.
"As soon as the pandemic began, one of the first concerns was reaching out to San Quentin," said Dr. Willis, who explained that, "We were told by CDCR very clearly that this is not part of our jurisdiction."
According to the Department of Corrections, San Quentin was virus-free up until late May.
Willis says the surge started after inmates were transferred out of a prison in Chino, where there was an outbreak, to San Quentin three weeks ago. He says Marin's health department was not informed of the transfer until after it happened.
RELATED: Bay Area rapper E-40 donates 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to prisons
Willis says the prison is not equipped to treat hundreds of infected inmates. "I'm concerned that we would be potentially using beds in our hospitals that would otherwise be available for our own community."
Tara, who did not want to use her last name, says her 65-year-old father was transferred from the Chino facility to San Quentin in the middle of the night.
"He's been telling us that a lot of people that he's been in quarters with have become sick and that he's been tested several times but that he's been negative each time."
She hasn't heard from her father in several days and is concerned about his health and safety.
"I'm not saying that every person who committed a crime should just go free, but they haven't been sentenced to death either and we can't control this."
Dr. Willis says there are currently 9 COVID-19 patients in Marin's 3 hospitals, which have a total of 420 beds. Based on those numbers, he says there is not an imminent health threat to the community.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 risk calculator: Quiz yourself on the safest, most dangerous things you can do as CAreopens
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
- Reopening California: What's opening and when in the Bay Area
- Everything we know about CA businesses opening and what comes next
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- Here's everything allowed to open in CA (and what we're still waiting on)
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Latino community
- WATCH: 'Your Mental Health: A Bay AreaConversation' virtual town hall addressing COVID-19 impact on mental health
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions