ORANGE (CBSLA) – Orange County Jail released half of its prisoners after a coronavirus pandemic escalated, but one of the released prisoners was unconsciously infected with the virus and passed it on to his family – including his mother, who has since died.
Stephanie Espinoza said that she and her mother, Belinda Rodriguez, contracted COWID-19 after her brother was released from Theo Lacy prison without first receiving the results of the COWID-19 test. (Photo: Stephanie Espinosa)
How do you explain to a four-year-old child that Nona might not come home, said the man’s sister, Stephanie Espinosa.
Espinoza, who isolated herself in her room after she also contracted the disease, said she preferred to be with her mother, Belinda Rodriguez, 65, who fought VIDOC-19 in the intensive care unit at Orange Coast Memorial Hospital.
The CBSLA learned Tuesday that Rodriguez is dead.
It’s just shocking that in a few days she might be at a stage where we don’t know if she’ll make it through the night, she said about her mother.
The family’s ordeal began two weeks ago when Espinoza said his brother was released from Theo Lacy’s prison. He was tested two days before his release, but received no test results. He then went to the apartment where Espinosa and her mother live.
The next day Espinosa said her brother called the prison to ask for her things. She said she was told he tested positive for VIDCOVID-19.
Although our exposure was minimal, we still isolated ourselves and started testing, she said.
According to Espinoza, the first tests were negative for her and her mother, who has diabetes. But after a few days, the first symptoms appeared in both, and a series of subsequent tests gave a positive result.
And when I went to get the presents on Christmas morning, she could barely walk down the hall, Espinosa said.
Rodriguez was admitted to the emergency ward of Orange Coast Memorial Hospital and was intubated on Sunday after his oxygen level had dropped.
Espinoza said she wanted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to keep her brother in custody until the test results come back.
How could they release my brother without informing him of the results, she said. It was one day, and they couldn’t wait to let him go.
OCSD issued a statement stating, among other things:
When detainees are released and have medical needs, including COVID, UC Health has a process to contact and provide information during the release process. If they have to contact them when they are released, they use the information they gave to the prisoners when they entered the prison.
The department said it could not comment on the specific case of Brother Espinosa, but indicated that 1,400 prisoners had been released early and would be checked by the Orange County Department of Health if necessary.
Put on the mask and do the right thing, Mr. Espinoza said. Real people who have families and people they love die.