Activists call on Gov. Newsom to address San Quentin outbreak

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (KGO) -- On Thursday, a coalition of advocates and lawmakers called Stop San Quentin Outbreak is at San Quentin State Prison to demand Gov. Gavin Newsom take action to fight the COVID-19 crisis at the prison.

Activists are calling for the release of prisoners who are older or medically vulnerable. They say this will leave more room at the prison for social distancing and help stop the spread of coronavirus. They have invited Gov. Newsom to visit the prison and see the situation for himself.

RELATED: Inmate shares how massive COVID-19 outbreak started at San Quentin

In the past month, more than 1,300 people at San Quentin have gotten sick. Six men have died.

San Quentin did not have any COVID-19 cases in May. However, inmates from an infected prison in Chino, Calif. were transferred to San Quentin.

RELATED: San Quentin death row inmate dies amid coronavirus outbreak at prison

An inmate in Chino told the ABC7 News I-Team more safety precautions are needed. He said, "It's spread like wildfire. The problem is nobody knew it was there because most of the people who had it, had it for a while before they knew they had it. We've had officers here come to work sick, knowing they were sick."

The inmate said people are not wearing masks at the prison in Chino.

State Sen. Scott Weiner and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin are part of Stop San Quentin Outbreak. They were present at Thursday's news conference.

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