Fri | Oct 15, 2021

Surge in COVID prison cases

Published:Friday | September 17, 2021 | 5:20 PM
The department says it will be implementing additional COVID-19 measures to reduce and prevent the spread of the virus.

The Department of Correctional Services is reporting an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among inmates/wards and staff members at correctional institutions in recent weeks.

Currently, 58 positive inmates/wards have tested positive for the virus while seven have been hospitalised.

Additionally, 38 staff members have tested positive and are now in isolation.

The department says it will be implementing additional COVID-19 measures to reduce and prevent the spread of the virus.

Beginning Saturday, September 18, 2021, the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, in the first instance, will observe no movement initially for seven days and cloth masks will be prohibited.

Surgical masks will be distributed to inmates and correction officers.

The rotation of officers will also be suspended.

Officers will retain their assigned posts for the period to prevent the spread of the virus.

The department says it will continue to enforce measures previously implemented including temperature checks for all persons entering the institutions, handwashing and sanitisation stations along with the provision of thermometers and sanitising agents at all institutions.

The department, in collaboration with the public health department, continues swabbing exercises within the institutions.

Meanwhile, the agency says the National Health Fund is providing personal protective equipment for the correctional institutions.

The department says its medical services unit continues to work assiduously and has been unrelenting in the fight against the pandemic.

According to the department, data from the unit has indicated that since the onset of the pandemic last year March, 206 inmates/wards and 228 staff members have recovered from the virus.

The death count remains at five: two inmates and three workers from the first wave of the virus.

Meanwhile, the corrections department informed that to date, approximately 300 inmates from the adult correctional institutions and more than 300 staff members have been inoculated against COVID-19.

It says the department continues to collaborate with the public health department to conduct vaccination drives within the facilities.

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