As COVID-19 surges through the inmate population at Larch Corrections Center, frustrations are mounting over a perceived lack of communication between facility administrators, residents and their loved ones.
“The communication from staff to inmates is nonexistent. Every day this place is run differently … so we don’t know what’s going on at all,” Robert Wilson, 36, said Wednesday in a phone interview from the minimum security state prison near Yacolt.
As of Thursday, 219 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19. (There were no new positive cases Thursday.) With approximately 300 inmates currently housed at Larch, more than 70 percent have contracted the virus.
The Washington State Department of Corrections had reported Dec. 31 that six inmates tested positive. By Monday, the number had swelled to 218, after mass testing was conducted Dec. 30.
Wilson — who’s nearing the end of his sentence for robbery and drug convictions — is one of the people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.