A 65 year-old mother is on a ventilator with coronavirus after a jail released her infected son early. Belinda Rodriguez came down with a severe Covid infection after her son, who has not been named, was released from Theo Lacy Jail in Orange County, California, before getting his result.
Rodriguez’s daughter Stefani Espinosa, whose brother was the man released, said: ‘How do you explain that to a four year-old that, you know, Nona might not come home? It’s just shocking that in a matter of days, you know, she could be in this stage where we don’t know if she’s gonna make it through the night.’
Espinosa also caught Covid after her brother was released earlier this month, and is currently isolating in her bedroom with mild symptoms. She explained that she and her mother took precautions after her brother was freed from jail without his result.
He tested positive the day after he was released. His mom and sister took their own tests shortly after, with those results coming back negative. But a few days later Espinosa and Rodriguez – who has diabetes – began to experience Covid symptoms, and tested positive shortly afterwards.
Recalling how quickly her mother’s condition declined, Espinosa said: ‘And then Christmas morning, when I went to go get her to open presents, she could barely walk down the hallway.’
Rodriguez was rushed to Orange Coast Memorial Hospital, and put on a ventilator on Sunday after her oxygen levels dropped dangerously low.
Espinosa and her brother now face an agonizing wait to see if their mother will recover.
She told of her anger at Orange County Jail for not holding her brother until his result had come back, telling CBSLA: ‘How they could release my brother without letting him know his results?
‘It was one day, and they couldn’t wait to release him.’ Further details on why Espinosa’s brother were in jail have not been shared.
An Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said they were working with a local health department to follow-up with freed inmates who receive a positive Covid test.
Jails and prisons are known Covid infection hot spots, because of their cramped conditions and poor hygiene measures.
California is America’s most-infected state, with 2.21million Covid cases, and 24,529 deaths.
The US has recorded 19.31million coronavirus cases, and 335,000 deaths.
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