I believe that I contracted COVID-19 while in the OPHU of Santa Rita Jail, as that is the only source where I had contact with individuals who had COVID-19, and that the sheriff failed to take the necessary steps to protect me from contracting COVID-19, failed to do the required testing, and failed to take action, well within the sheriff's power and control, to even refer me to emergency housing...
The next day, they gave me the COVID test, and on April 30, 2020, I tested positive. In solitary confinement, I got nothing. No cough drops, no extra blanket, no Tylenol, no hot drink, nothing. Just be in that room and suffer. Truly, I thought I was going to die.
If you have trouble breathing other times, there’s no sick call and there’s no inhaler, and you have to push the button. But the technician who answers the button talks to you in such a way, as to make you feel really bad, so these last few weeks, although I had chest pains, I didn’t push the button.
The jail didn’t tell me anything, but I knew that everyone in C had tested positive for the corona virus. I am essentially in solitary confinement, with nothing for comfort, and no medical treatment. I have had no shower. I have no soap. I have none of my property. I have not been given any clean clothes. I received nothing for my cough. I received nothing for my body pains.
...I got Tylenol only twice. I was running a high fever, over 100 degrees and I had really bad headaches. I asked them for Tylenol and the nurse said to me, “The doctor said no Tylenol. We want your body to fight it off by itself.” And then the nurse closed the door slot and walked off. I never got any cough drops or anything for my cough. I asked for an extra blanket and the jail refused to give...
On April 15, 2020, at 9:30am, the doctor came by to tell me that I would be finished quarantining that day. ...Around 11 a.m. or noon, staff let me out to shower, but the showers were still filthy — I considered them unusable. At this point, I had not showered since April 4, 2020. I also still had the same clothes and same underwear I had been wearing for over 10 days.
...The jail moved me into Housing Unit 8C, which the other inmates tell me is for those inmates who have tested positive. The jail itself has told me nothing. No doctor, no nurse, no deputy has told me what is going on. No doctor, no nurse, no deputy has told me I have tested positive for the Coronavirus. No doctor, no nurse, no deputy has told me what will happen or how long I will stay here.
The cot I was given had black mold on the cot and the mattress was stained and smelled of urine. I asked for something to clean with, and I was not given anything, so I ended up using a menstrual pad to wipe the mattress and the cot.
Before going to court, I was placed in a dirty holding cell that was also holding six to seven other people. I believe I should have been held in a cleaner space either in isolation or in a space more conducive to social distancing guidelines.
Neither the showers nor the day room appeared to have been cleaned–in fact, the showers hadn’t been cleaned in over a week and smelled like urine. There was still blood and various other stains on the day room carpet. I fear that Santa Rita Jail will tell the media that they are following all protocol by hiring this cleaning service, but I believe I could have cleaned the pod much better myself...
I have pressed the emergency button while I have been here, and tried to tell the technician that it was very hard to breathe. And after telling the technician I am having difficulty breathing, no one came with any medication or help for the difficulty I am having with my breathing.
After the corona virus, the jail made public statements that they were now providing inmates with soap and hand sanitizer. During the period of time I was in Santa Rita — a little over four months — I received one bar of soap and twice, and received two small packets of single use hand sanitizer.
He immediately slapped hand cuffs on me, and twisted my arm, and dragged me to Housing Unit 8C, even though I was feeling so poorly. When I arrived at Housing Unit 8C, the first cell they put me in was so filthy, with garbage and dirt all over the cell that I told them if they forced me to be in that cell, they would have to put me on suicide watch.
I had not seen medical people or received medical attention since being placed here. I was having a hard time breathing. I had bad diarrhea, I had a shooting headache. I still had a bad cough. I had shivers and chills. One night, I had such trouble breathing I had a panic attack. I’m breathing but it did not feel like air was going on. And I can’t submit a medical request slip, I have no way of...
Inmates often use their own body soap to clean the cell due to insufficient cleaning supplies. On April 20, 2020, the only supplies we received were a broom without the handle (just the bristles part) and a toilet brush. When we asked Deputy Whitlock for better supplies and a proper broom, he responded that we could "sweep on our knees" and did not provide us with additional supplies.
After 5 p.m., I was moved back to my original housing unit, 31, which is a dormitory style unit. If in fact, I was exposed to the corona virus in the dress out room, then when I was returned to Housing Unit 31, I was carrying it back and passing it on, potentially to everyone in my dormitory cell.