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BOP COVID-19 UPDATE -- May 3, 2021

Quick Facts:

Currently positive-testing inmates: 196 (down from 202)

Currently positive-testing staff: 156 (down from 159)

Recovered inmates: 46,293 (down from 46,364)

Recovered staff: 6,742 (up from 6,720)

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

Otisville FCI: 28

Berlin FCI: 20 (up from 18)

San Diego MCC: 20 (up from 19)

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing staff:

Petersburg Low FCI: 14

Pekin FCI: 7 (unchanged)

Yazoo City USP: 7 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 127,602 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,651 in community-based facilities. Today's stats:

Completed tests: 111,988 (up from 111,559)

Positive tests: 45,765 (down from 45,832)

Case Note: Making tough decision to release defendant in opposition to victim's sister, and notwithstanding defendant's vaccination...

In U.S. v. DAVID LONICH, et al., 2021 WL 1668062 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 28, 2021) (Illiston, J.), the Court grants release, even though defendant only served 41% of his sentence, contracted COVID and has been vaccinated, explaining: "The Court finds Mr. Lonich has presented extraordinary and compelling reasons justifying compassionate release due to his age, health conditions, and prior COVID-19 infection. The government argues that Mr. Lonich's risk of severe viral symptoms and death is reduced because he has received a COVID-19 vaccine. Nevertheless, uncertainty still surrounds the degree and duration of protection vaccines provide against the virus or its mutations. At least one court has found in light of the pandemic, a defendant's age and underlying health conditions constitute an extraordinary and compelling reason to grant release even though the defendant was vaccinated and had previously contracted COVID-19. … Defendant further presents the expert testimony of infectious disease specialist and UCLA assistant clinical professor Tara Vijayan, M.D., M.P.H., who asserts that reinfection of people who have recovered from COVID-19 is possible and “more likely in an environment where re-exposure with a high viral inoculum is likely. Prisons and jails are such environments.” Dkt. No. 467 (Def.’s Reply) Ex. B. at 24-25.The government concedes “[t]he science surrounding COVID-19 and the possibility of reinfection is still developing.” … The Court finds Mr. Lonich's age in conjunction with the pandemic's rampant spread throughout the prison system constitutes an extraordinary and compelling reason warranting his release to home confinement. … The Court acknowledges the testimony given by the sister of one of Mr. Lonich's victims. She expressed understandable anger at the losses suffered by her sister, who has since died of cancer. She also objected generally to the compassionate release mechanism. However, Congress passed the First Step Act to allow defendants to directly move the Court for compassionate release in extraordinary and compelling circumstances, which the Court finds here. This order in no way represents an exoneration of Mr. Lonich.”

Death Watch: The BOP has identified the fatality reported yesterday as Paul F. Archambault, Sr., 83, FMC Devens. The inmate death remains at 234. Five of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff fatalities remain at 4.

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