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New Lompoc prison COVID-19 case reported; concerns rise on numbers and community contamination concerns

United States Penitentiary, Lompoc usp lompoc
Federal Bureau of Prisons
United States Penitentiary, Lompoc

LOMPOC, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Health Department reports that another Lompoc federal prisoner has tested positive for COVID-19.

City officials are concerned with the prison's infection rates.

“I don’t think we would have this outbreak at this level if it wasn’t for the federal prison here,” said Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne.

On Sunday, the health department reported 107 cumulative cases at the Lompoc United States Prison and the Federal Corrections Institute. The Bureau of Prison's (BOP) website reported a total of only 98 cases on Sunday.

“It's skewing the numbers not just for the county but for Lompoc in particular,” said Osborne.

Inmate family members have spoken out after the prisons barred inmates from making phone calls or emails to anyone on the outside.

“The prison has gone a bit quiet on the numbers. I would be surprised if they were really down,” said Osborne.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) does not report cases on a cumulative basis and reduces the number of reported cases as prisoners leave the population or recover. This may account for the discrepancy in the number of reported inmate cases between the health department and the BOP.

“As a community member I feel both scared and angry about what is going on here in town with relation to the prisons,” said Lompoc Resident DA Taylor.

“It has me concerned because the outbreak is still going on and there has been no real flattening of the curve for the prison outbreaks, that is congregate care,” said Osborne.

Many Lompoc community members have taken to Facebook saying the prison staff is not getting enough personal protective equipment.

“They have not done the job they needed to do to contain it, and because of that, it's now spreading into the prison staff and the community,” said Taylor.

According to Congressman Salud Carbajal, the prisons are working on testing asymptomatic inmates and building an internal hospital facility.

We reached out to The Federal Bureau of Prison's for comment but have not heard back.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.


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