This is Ronald Gibson, BQ5220, calling in live from death row.
There’s a killer on death row: for six months here at SCI Phoenix, we did everything within our power to mitigate against the COVID-19 virus. We wear our masks, social distancing cohorts, clean the blocks, and we clean our cells. This block was even voted cleanest block of the prison. Unfortunately, our worst fear became reality.
The staff member, the block counselor, test positive for COVID-19. This counselor was allowed to work for several days while experiencing symptoms after his positive test. No contract tasting was done, no staff working was sent home as a precautionary measure. Days later, three prisoners started experiencing COVID symptoms. They all tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, they were removed from the block. No testing was done on anyone within their cohorts. Days after those three positive tests, the block unit manager also tested positive for COVID-19. The unit manager works several days after his contact with the block counselor. No contact tracing was done. No staff working was sent home as a precautionary measure. Quarantine or anything else.
Days after the unit manager tested positive, four more prisoners tested positive and were removed from the block after experiencing symptoms. They all test positive for COVID-19. No testing was done on anyone in their cohorts. Staff- no staff were sent home as a precautionary measure. Fellow staff members have go to speak to them missing after working weeks with contact with other staff members and prisoners. Administration is now taking a “wait and see” approach.
They wait and see if we get sick or die. Since the infection- since the infection no, no temperature checks were done. No testing has been done. And several prisoners are sick in their cells right now. As of today, 10 prisoners and an unknown amount of staff members have tested positive for the COVID 19 virus and counting. There’s a kill on death row, and it’s COVID-19. We need your help to call in, you should email, we need you to write to Secretary Wessel, ask Superintendent silver at the Pennsylvania DOC website. First of all, we need the administration to enforce this COVID policy daily and punish non-compliance. Second, we need to contact tracing done with staff and also testing and quarantine when appropriate. Lastly, we need to be assured that infected death row prisoners will get the appropriate treatment and not just stuck into another cell or a different block. Tough days will follow. On a move.