Adult Correction Actions on COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and health of employees, those incarcerated in state prisons, and the general public remains a top priority.

Prisons is actively monitoring the health conditions of the offender population, with specific focus on frequent cleaning, good hygiene practices, medical triage, appropriate testing and tracking.

As the pandemic evolves, NCDPS is implementing necessary measures (see list) to ensure the safety and health of all North Carolinians. The department continues to monitor the constantly changing situation and will update this list as we take additional safety steps to help address impacts from the COVID-19 virus and do our part to protect North Carolinians.

Recent Actions

Oct. 1, 2021

Entered a collaborative agreement with the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association to enact a series of health and safety guidelines that allow the transfer of some prison-sentenced offenders from county jails and detention facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. For more than four months, the majority of active cases of COVID-19 in the prison population have been identified in those arriving from county jails and detention facilities.

The agreement allows for the transfer of all fully vaccinated offenders. However, if the jail or detention facility has an outbreak of COVID-19, unvaccinated offenders may be transferred if they have been medically quarantined for 14 days and tested negative prior to transport. If there is no known outbreak in the jail or detention facility, unvaccinated offenders may be transferred if they recently tested negative for COVID-19. This agreement is intended to reduce the backlog of prison-sentenced offenders in jails and detention centers while maintaining necessary COVID-19 health and safety protocols in the prison processing centers for new offenders.

Click tabs below for previous actions on COVID-19 

October 2021

October 2021

Oct. 1, 2021

Entered a collaborative agreement with the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association to enact a series of health and safety guidelines that allow the transfer of some prison-sentenced offenders from county jails and detention facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. For more than four months, the majority of active cases of COVID-19 in the prison population have been identified in those arriving from county jails and detention facilities.

The agreement allows for the transfer of all fully vaccinated offenders. However, if the jail or detention facility has an outbreak of COVID-19, unvaccinated offenders may be transferred if they have been medically quarantined for 14 days and tested negative prior to transport. If there is no known outbreak in the jail or detention facility, unvaccinated offenders may be transferred if they recently tested negative for COVID-19. This agreement is intended to reduce the backlog of prison-sentenced offenders in jails and detention centers while maintaining necessary COVID-19 health and safety protocols in the prison processing centers for new offenders.

Aug-Sep '21

Aug-Sep '21

Aug. 9, 2021

Gov. Roy Cooper's Executive Order 224, effective Sept. 1, 2021, requires state employees who have chosen not to be vaccinated to be tested for COVID-19 weekly. Prisons currently tests its nearly 7,000 unvaccinated employees biweekly. To prepate for the doubling of tests, Prisons has taken the following measures:

  • Acquired at no charge 30,000 antigen (rapid) tests from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Adopted plans to alternate the rapid antigen tests with PCR (genetic, highly accurate) tests. Ten prison medical facilities (Central, NCCIW and two per region) have PCR testing equipment that can perform multiple tests simultaneously.
  • Piloted the weekly testing protocols for unvaccinated employees at two prisons, Tabor CI and Columbus CI, due to Columbus County's meeting of the surrounding-community criteria enacted the previous week.

Aug. 4, 2021

Authorized private viewings in the event of death of immediate family members, provided the offender's assigned prison is not on red status.

No other family members may be present during the private viewing. Pandemic precautions will be required, including maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask at all times.

Vaccinated offenders do not have to be tested for COVID-19 before the viewing. Unvaccinated offenders will be approved for a private viewing only if they receive a negative COVID-19 antigen test result within 24 hours of the viewing appointment. If the test result is positive, approval will be denied.

Since the viewing is private, and social distancing measures are in place, offenders who attend a private viewing are not subject to quarantine or testing upon return to prison.

Wardens are authorized to allow viewing of an online or streaming service.

No funeral visitation will be approved for any offender, regardless of custody level. Other approval requirements within the Emergency Leave policy remain in place.

Aug. 3, 2021

Adopted surrounding-community plans to lessen the risk of an outbreak in a prison located within a county of sharply rising case counts and low vaccination rate:

  • For unvaccinated staff, increase testing from biweekly to weekly.
  • Increase offender testing to reflect any increase in staff cases.
  • Provide additional vaccine education to staff and offenders, focusing on the delta variant and the situation in the surrounding community.
  • Conduct focused vaccine clinics for staff and offenders.
  • Request additional vaccine.
May-July '21

May-July '21

July 16, 2021
Prisons resumed contact visitation on a pandemic-limited basis. Vaccinated offenders may hug a visitor, but both must continue to wear masks and to sanitize their hands upon entering the visitation area. Non-contact visits will continue to be permitted for offenders who have not been vaccinated. All visits require an appointment. Wardens will determine visitation conditions and schedules at individual facilities, depending on local conditions. Visitors should call ahead the day before a scheduled visit to confirm it.

June 21, 2021
A staggered resumption of work-release programs began for offenders who have been fully vaccinated. Taking a measured approach that emphasizes staff and offender safety, the Prisons reopening plan entered Phase 3. Offenders participating in work release — having a job outside the prison facility with a private business — can return to work. Work-release opportunities vary by facility, as staff members work with local employers to resume previous agreements or to establish new ones. Prisons officials anticipate the complete rollout of work release could take up to 4-6 months. All offender worksites, either private or public, undergo review by Prisons to ensure compliance with COVID-19 and other safety measures.

June 1, 2021
Offenders who have been fully vaccinated can participate in some work and rehabilitative programs. Outside work opportunities are open for offenders who hold jobs with public-sector employers — other Prisons facilities, fellow state government agencies or cities and counties with prison labor contracts. Phase 2 of Prisons' reopening plan also relaunches in-person educational, vocational and other rehabilitative programs. For now, all participants — offenders and educators — must be fully vaccinated and maintain social-distancing measures. Program availability varies by facility, as staff members rebuild courses after the pandemic.

May 2021
Mass vaccinations cease, as all Prisons staff and offenders who want the vaccine have received it. Staff and offenders continue to be vaccinated on request.

Mar-Apr '21

Mar-Apr '21

April 1, 2021
In-person visitation is now allowed for children when visitation is permitted at a prison. Social distancing and other pandemic health and safety requirements remain in place. These no-contact visits are by appointment only, and may be arranged by calling the prison. Please call the prison to confirm its visitation status the day before a scheduled visit. Visitation will not be allowed in the event of a significant outbreak of COVID-19 at a prison or if the offender to be visited tests positive for the virus or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19.

March 12, 2021

Completed the installation of nearly 4,000 air purifiers in the ductwork of state prisons to better filter out any airborne virus particles. Installation began in December.

Jan-Feb '21

Jan-Feb '21

Feb. 25, 2021
Due to the ongoing global health crisis of COVID-19, DPS will accelerate the transition of approximately 3,500 offenders back into their communities through either: awarding discretionary sentence credits, extending the limits of confinement or reinstating individuals to post-release supervision or granting early release to those participating in the mutual agreement parole program. 

Feb. 10, 2021
An additional 100,000 cloth, three-ply face masks were distributed throughout the prison system as replacements for masks that are no longer usable or to allow staff and offenders to double-mask. The masks were produced by Correction Enterprises. All staff and offenders have at least six cloth three-ply masks, and N95 masks are available for staff who wish to use them.

Jan. 29, 2021

As part of its efforts to keep everyone safe and encourage participation in inoculations, Prisons launched an incentive package for eligible offenders who complete the COVID-19 vaccine process. The one-time incentives include five days of sentence credits, four additional visits with clergry or regular visitors, one phone call and an earlier return to job or program. 

Jan. 20, 2021
Recieved first allocation of coronavirus vaccine and began inoculating prison staff and offenders. 

Jan. 7, 2021
Continued the installation of nearly 4,000 air purifiers in the ductwork of state prisons to better filter out any airborne virus particles. Installation began in December and is projected to be completed in early February for this important health and safety initiative.

Nov-Dec '20

Nov-Dec '20

Dec. 22, 2020
Extending the initiative through March 31, 2021 to make COVID-19 testing available to more than 21,000 employees in the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, which includes the Division of Prisons. The initiative provides for free, confidential, flexible and voluntary COVID-19 testing. Testing will occur at identified FastMed Urgent Care locations throughout the state. LabCorp will provide employees with results through its secure online portal.

Dec. 14, 2020
Initiated an aggressive COVID-19 testing plan for all staff who work inside prisons, to test them every two weeks. In addition, 5% of staff who work in other Prisons’ locations that do not house offenders will be tested for the virus on a weekly basis, resulting in at least 20% of the staff at these locations being tested each month.

Dec. 10, 2020
Consolidated additional prison operations to help mitigate impacts from COVID-19 on the prison system. Temporarily suspended operations at the minimum custody camp at Marion Correctional on Dec. 9 and the staff reassigned temporarily to the main prison campus at Marion Correctional. 

Nov. 30, 2020
Initiated enhanced COVID-19 testing of staff who work in prisons experiencing viral outbreaks. Staff at these specific facilities are tested every two weeks as necessary until the facility’s outbreak status ends. This initiative also includes testing for all staff every two weeks at facilities with offender populations with high medical risks for the virus as defined by CDC. The bi-weekly testing frequency is also for staff at offender intake facilities. This new protocol augments the random testing of five percent of the staff at all facilities on a weekly basis, resulting in at least 20 percent of the staff at every prison facility being tested each month.

Nov. 25, 2020

  • Consolidated some prison operations to allow more offenders to be medically treated within the prison system, reducing the stress on hospitals and increasing public safety by reducing offender transports for medical treatment. Operations were temporarily suspended:
    • at Randolph Correctional Center in Asheboro on Nov. 22 and the staff reassigned temporarily to other prisons in the region.
    • at Southern Correctional Institution’s minimum custody unit on Nov. 20, enabling staff there to better assist in other sections of the prison.
    • at the Piedmont Correctional Institution minimum custody unit on Nov. 25 so staff can assist in the medium-custody facility in the prison complex.

Nov. 9, 2020
Initiated a staff COVID-19 testing regimen to weekly test five percent of the employees at every facility for COVID-19. This ongoing testing initiative will result in 20 percent of the staff at every prison facility being tested on a monthly basis. Any staff who tests positive for the virus will be off the job until he or she meets the Centers for Disease Control and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services criteria to be considered presumed recovered from the virus. This testing effort will help to keep the staff healthy, their families safer from the virus, and will better protect our offender populations. Staff may continue to be tested on their own with no co-pays through a partnership with the State Health Plan, FastMed and LabCorp, which has been extended through the end of the year.

Nov. 3, 2020
Distributie three-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer to the staff at every prison. These personal bottles of hand sanitizer may be refilled from the one-gallon  hand sanitizer shipped to each prison by Correction Enterprises, which has produced large quantities of hand sanitizer and disinfectant used by the staff and offenders at every prison. Distribution of the three-ounce bottles begins this week and is expected to be completed next week.

Aug-Oct '20

Aug-Oct '20

Oct. 12, 2020
Initiated a staff testing pilot project at three prisons. The facilities were chosen because they feature one dormitory-style housing at Dan River Prison Work Farm, one single-cell housing facility at Scotland Correctional , and because the third prison --- Greene Correctional -- houses a COVID-vulnerable offender population with pre-existing medical conditions. Once an initial round of testing is completed, ACJJ-Prisons leadership will review the staff COVID-19 positivity rates at each prison to determine how to continue with additional staff testing. This initiative later was expanded to more than two dozen other prisons that experienced viral outbreaks.

Sept. 18, 2020

  • Limited visitation at all the state’s prisons and will resume Oct. 1 with significant restrictions due to the pandemic. Visits will be by appointment only and must be scheduled through the prison. Visits will not be permitted if the prison is experiencing a significant outbreak of COVID-19. Children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to visit at this time. All visitors will be medically screened with temperature checks, in addition to standard security procedures. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or who has a fever of 100 degrees or more, or who has been exposed to someone who is COVID-positive, will be denied entry. Offenders who are in medical isolation or medical quarantine, or who have any symptoms of COVID-19, will have their visit rescheduled. Visits will be limited to two visitors per session. Each offender will be allowed one visit per calendar month. Visits will be limited to 30 minutes. Everyone must wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth at all times and must sanitize their hands when entering and leaving the visitation area. Masks may not have offensive language, pictures or symbols. Gaiters, bandanas and masks with a one-way valve are not permitted. Masks will be provided if needed. For more information, click here.

Sept. 18, 2020

  • Distributed 300,000 disposable three-ply cloth masks to the staff and offenders at all the prisons. An additional 300,000 washable three-ply masks have been ordered and are expected to be received and distributed in the next few weeks, enough for all staff and offenders to have five of these washable masks.

Sept. 1, 2020

  • Resumed limited educational programs for eligible offenders, with no face-to-face instruction and continued implementation of all COVID-19 safety measures for classes from community colleges and other post-secondary education entities. Learning packets will be distributed for independent learning for high school equivalency, adult education, literacy and vocational training. Also, taped lectures from educators will be provided when available. Limited face-to-face instruction by Division of Prisons educators, with COVID-19 protocols in place, will resume for offenders assigned to high school equivalency classes.

Aug. 21, 2020

  • Continuing the suspension of visitation, work release, volunteers and in-person educational classes through Sept. 11, 2020, when they will be reevaluated.

Aug. 6, 2020

  • Completed COVID-19 mass testing at all prison facilities: 29,062 offenders were tested of whom 619 tested positive. The positivity percentage of 2.1 percent is much lower than in prison systems in many other states. Those who tested positive are either in medical isolation or are considered presumed recovered following NCDHHS guidance. The entire current prison population now has been tested for COVID-19. In addition to the 29,000 offenders tested, an additional 1,600 offenders were tested for the virus on their transfer from county jails to prison over the past two months. Find more information on the mass testing here.
June-July '20

June-July '20

July 30, 2020

  • To date, COVID-19 mass testing has been completed at all prison facilities with results received so far on 25,684 offenders. Since the mass testing initiative got underway June 22, 2020, a total of 598 of offenders tested have positive results, with 25,086 testing negative. Those who tested positive are either in medical isolation or are considered presumed recovered following NCDHHS guidance. More information on the facilities where mass testing has taken place can be found here.

July 24, 2020

  • Continuing the suspension of visitation, work release, volunteers and educational classes until Aug. 16, 2020, when they will be reevaluated.

July 22, 2020

  • To date, COVID-19 mass testing has been completed at 39 prison facilities with results received on 12,524 offenders. Since the mass testing initiative got underway June 22, 2020, a total of 290 (1.4 percent) of offenders tested have positive results, with 12,234 (98.6 percent ) testing negative. Those who tested positive are either in medical isolation or are considered presumed recovered following NCDHHS guidance. More information on the facilities where mass testing has taken place can be found here.

July 10, 2020

  • Extended current temporary pandemic emergency pay for staff who work in a prison facility through December. Based on their current salaries, health care staff will receive a temporary 20 percent pay increase, while all other Prison employees working inside a facility will receive a 10 percent increase. Also, added all Prisons facility positions not originally receiving the emergency pay retroactive to April 1, 2020.

June 18, 2020

  • Initiating a plan to test all offenders in the state prison system for COVID-19, starting with Albemarle Correctional Institution. This testing of the population is estimated to require at least 60 days to complete, at a projected cost of more than $3.3 million. COVID-19 tests are being done on all new offenders when they arrive at the prison from the county jails.

June 10, 2020

  • Extended current temporary pandemic emergency pay for staff who work in a prison facility through June. Based on their current salaries, health care staff will receive a temporary 20 percent pay increase, while all other Prison employees working inside a facility will receive a 10 percent increase. Also, added all Prisons facility positions not originally receiving the emergency pay retroactive to April 1, 2020.


June 7, 2020

  • Again, modified criteria for consideration of extended limits of confinement. To be considered, offenders must meet all legal requirements and one or more of these strict criteria. Offenders who have been convicted of crimes against a person will not be considered.
    • Pregnant
    • Already on home leave with a 2020 release date
    • Already on work release with a 2020 release date
    • Age 65+ with a 2020, 2021 or 2022 release date
    • Age 50-64 with underlying health conditions and a 2020 or 2021 release date
May '20

May '20

May 29, 2020

  • Extending the initiative through July 31, 2020 to make COVID-19 testing available to more than 21,000 employees in the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, which includes the Division of Prisons. The initiative provides for free, confidential, flexible and voluntary COVID-19 testing. Testing will occur at identified FastMed Urgent Care locations throughout the state. LabCorp will provide employees with results through its secure online portal.
  • Implementing the testing of all offenders at Caswell Correctional Center in Blanch, to determine the extent of a COVID-19 outbreak that has seen a gradual increase in the number of staff and offenders who have tested positive for the virus. Staff is continued to be encouraged to be tested for the virus in an initiative extended through July 31, 2020.
  • Continuing the suspension of visitation, work release, and educational programs until June 15, when they will be reevaluated.

May 27, 2020

  • Resuming limited number of offender transfers between prisons to make room for other offenders sentenced to state prisons. Transfers will be conducted in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

May 14, 2020

  • Enacting an initiative to make COVID-19 testing available to more than 21,000 employees in the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, which includes the Division of Prisons. The initiative provides for free, confidential, flexible and voluntary COVID-19 testing. Testing will begin on May 18 at identified FastMed Urgent Care locations throughout the state. LabCorp will provide employees with results through its secure online portal.

May 13, 2020

  • Releasing data regarding the number of offenders who, after testing positive for COVID-19, are presumed recovered under criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This information is included in a chart at the bottom of this webpage. The chart is updated daily. When unveiled on May 12, the data revealed more than 500 offenders were presumed recovered of the 642 offenders who, at that point, had tested positive for COVID-19. All prisons remain on pandemic response mode, with continued staff screenings, isolation and quarantine protocols and offender movements designed to prevent the mixing of offenders from different housing units.
  • Continuing to produce hygiene and personal protection equipment, Correction Enterprises so far has manufactured:
    • 203,033 washable face masks
    • 15,429 face shields
    • 957,200 bars of soap
    • 281,376 bottles of disinfectant spray
    • 15,260 gallons of antibacterial liquid soap
    • 7,952 gallon jugs of hand sanitizer
    • 3,042 hospital-style gowns
    • And more.

May 7, 2020

Modified criteria for consideration of extended limits of confinement. To be considered, offenders must meet all legal requirements and one or more of these strict criteria. Offenders who have been convicted of crimes against a person will not be considered.

  • Pregnant
  • Already on home leave with a 2020 release date
  • Already on work release with a 2020 release date
  • Age 65+ with a 2020 or 2021 release date
  • Age 50-64 with underlying health conditions and a 2020 or 2021 release date
April '20

April '20

April 30, 2020

  • Implementing an aggressive, proactive medical initiative at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women to test every offender in one housing unit for COVID-19. Understanding the extent of the spread of COVID-19 in the Canary housing unit allowed the enactment of contingency plans designed to prevent further spread of the virus and to better protect the staff and the offenders. The testing was conducted April 25th in consultation with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Wake County Health Department.
  • Extending through May 17 the April 7 moratorium on the acceptance of offenders from the county jails, in effect a “stay at home” initiative. This second extension of the moratorium was supported by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. 
  • Enacting a prison safety initiative to give some infraction-free offenders three days off their sentences for each month they and do not commit a disciplinary-worthy offense. This “incentive time” sentence reduction credit is intended to encourage good behavior, particularly as the staff deals with COVID-19 issues in the prisons. It goes into effect May 1.

April 21, 2020

  • Effective immediately, issued cloth masks will be mandatory to wear for all facility staff. New hires will be required to keep their issued mask with them and use when going to classes off site for training. This includes ALL prison facilities, not only those on RED Status.

April 20, 2020

  • Extending through May 3 the April 7 moratorium on the acceptance of offenders from the county jails, in effect a “stay at home” initiative. This extension was supported by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association.
  • Continuing for another 30 days, until May 16, the suspension of visitation, offender outside work assignments and offender home leaves. Legal and pastoral care visits will continue with medical screening. Also continuing are two free five-minute phone calls each week for offenders who are eligible for phone calls.
  • Temporarily closing the Johnston Correctional Institution and transferring hundreds of offenders to other prisons to free the staff for reassignment to Neuse Correctional Institution, to help with managing that facility where a mass testing operation of the 700 offenders at Neuse Correctional Institution has revealed hundreds of offenders there are infected with COVID-19 and 98 percent are asymptomatic. The staff at Neuse Correctional have been working under intense conditions for more than two weeks, when the first two offenders there tested positive for COVID-19 on April 2.

    April 17, 2020

    April 16, 2020

    • Implementing an aggressive, proactive medical initiative at Neuse Correctional Institution to test every offender in the facility; and, through the Wayne County Health Department, to offer testing to the staff at Neuse CI who chose to be tested. Understanding the extent of the spread of COVID-19 in the facility’s offender population will allow the enactment of contingency plans designed to prevent further spread of the virus and to better protect the staff and the offenders. This large-scale testing is being done in partnership with the State Lab, LabCorp, the state Department of Health and Human Services, following recommendation by Prisons’ medical leadership.
    • Boosting pay temporarily for staff who work in prisons that face the exceptional challenges of high vacancy rates and a significant number of COVID-19 cases. Staff in these specially designated facilities will temporarily be paid time and a half, based on their current salaries, for the time they work at those facilities. This includes staff who are assigned to specially designated facilities on a temporary basis.
    • Purchasing 265 machines, capable of large-scale disbursement of disinfectant, for Prisons facilities. Seventy Power Breezers so far have been distributed to prisons, and more will be distributed when they are delivered. These machines will be used to spray disinfectant up to 65 feet in a 60-degree cone over walls, floors, cafeterias and other large areas to kill any COVID-19 that may be present. 

      April 13, 2020

      • Secretary Erik Hooks announced he is using his limited statutory authority to extend the limits of confinement (ELC) of incarcerated persons, allowing certain individuals to continue serving their sentence outside of a DPS prison facility, but under the supervision of community correction officers. See the press release and FAQs below. 
      • Awarding discretionary time credits where appropriate to allow some offenders who are nearing their release date, to reduce their maximum sentence and be released to community upon completion of the minimum sentence. 
      • NC Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission is expediting review of offenders under its authority for possible release. 
      • Again increased Correction Enterprises production of washable cloth face masks (made 40,000 last week; additional 30,000 expected this week). Around 60,000+ have been produced so far. Masks are distributed to staff and offenders in facilities where an offender had tested positive for COVID-19.
      • Burke Confinement in Response to Violations facility moved all offenders housed there for parole technical violations to Foothills or Morrison correctional institutions or released on supervision. The action was taken to: 1) reassign staff to other nearby facilities to adjust staffing levels, and 2) prepare for the potential COVID-19 contingency plans across the state, if necessary.
      • Bonus bags filled with snacks and other food offered for purchase to help boost offender morale (and consequently facility operations). Offender friends and families will be offered opportunities in May and June to purchase one of three bonus bags to be delivered to their loved ones. The bonus bag program will be offered to offenders in regular population, as well as those in restrictive housing for administrative and disciplinary purposes and especially to those who are isolated or quarantined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

          April 9, 2020

          • Began transitioning some non-violent offenders who meet strict criteria and legal guidelines, including victim notification in certain cases, to serve their sentence outside of a DPS prison facility, but under the supervision of community corrections officers and/or special operations officers. 
            • Done under laws authorizing the Secretary of Public Safety to do this. 
            • Approximately 500 offenders are being considered. They cannot have been convicted of a violent crime against a person and must be one of the following: 
              • Pregnant 
              • Age 65 and older with underlying health conditions
              • Female age 50 and older with health conditions and a release date in 2020 
              • Age 65 and older with a release date in 2020 
              • Already on home leave with a release date in 2020 
              • Already on work release with a projected release date in 2020.

          April 6, 2020

          • Instituting a two-week moratorium on accepting offenders from county jails.
          • Reducing offender transfers between prisons beginning April 7 to contain additional spread.
          • Providing additional personal protective equipment (PPE):
            • Distributing washable face masks to all staff and offenders at three prisons where offenders have tested positive for COVID-19 – Caledonia Correctional Institution (CI), Johnston CI and Neuse CI. The goal is to issue these face masks to all staff and all offenders in every prison.
            • Increasing Correction Enterprises’ production of PPE for prisons. Correction Enterprises is now producing each week more than 3,600 clear face shields; 6,000 washable face masks; 500 hospital-style gowns; and more than 6,000 four-gallon cases of disinfectant spray, in addition to large quantities of hand lotion.
          March '20

          March '20

          March 31, 2020

          • Medical screenings for all staff entering a prison beginning April 1. Any of the following result in denied entry:
            • Temperature of 100 degrees or more
            • Symptoms of respiratory illness
            • Exposure in the past 14 days to anyone who is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19
          • A 14-day quarantine period for all incoming offenders from county jails to help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 to the prison system.
          • Reducing offender interactions at all prisons to reduce the potential for additional COVID-19 exposure.
          • Providing additional PPE:
            • Distributing washable face masks to staff at Central Prison, NCCIW, and Wake Correctional Center where COVID-19 community cases are rapidly increasing.
            • Ordering additional PPE for staff, including 100,000 medical-grade surgical masks, 15,000 N95 masks, 5,000 face shields, and 4,000 gowns.
            • Increasing Correction Enterprises’ production of washable masks, face shields, and washable gowns for prisons. Distribution of the masks prioritized to facilities located in counties with increasing COVID-19 community cases.
              • Face masks: distributed 3,500 washable masks; 6,000 masks produced per week
              • Face shields: 60 produced per hour
              • Washable gowns: 200-300 produced per week
          • Communicating COVID-19 risk information:
            • Distributing informational posters regarding proper PPE usage to all prisons.
            • Distributing fact sheets on sanitation expectations and prisons cleaning procedures to all offenders.
          • Providing double rations of soap to all offenders.
          • Limiting staff gatherings to fewer than 10 people and requiring social distancing.
          • Designating two COVID-19 response coordinators at each prison.

          March 25, 2020

          • Suspending the work release program to limit offenders’ potential exposure to COVID-19. Monitoring will continue to determine if exceptions are required for essential job functions.
          • Reducing offender movements and interactions in prisons with medically vulnerable offenders.
          • Limiting educational and self-improvement programming to reduce the number of outside staff entering a prison. [BC1] 
          • Reducing exposure risk in basic training by:
            • Suspending all basic training classes from March 13 to March 23 for new correctional, probation and parole, and juvenile justice officers who commute to class.
            • Limiting class sizes and practicing social distancing between instructors and trainees.

          March 19, 2020

          • Suspending visitation and volunteering at all prisons beginning March 16.
          • Medical screenings for legal and pastoral care visitors, vendors, and contractors prior to entering a prison. Visitors who show symptoms of COVID-19 are denied entry.
          • Activating the Prison Incident Command System to coordinate COVID-19 response efforts.
          • Promoting clean environments within prisons:
            • Aggressively cleaning prison facilities.
            • Distributing additional supplies of disinfectants and soap to all facilities.
            • Increasing Correction Enterprises’ production of spray bottle disinfectant. 1,100 cases are being produced per day.
            • Providing hand sanitizer produced by Correction Enterprises to staff and offenders at all facilities.
            • Thoroughly cleaning all transport buses and vehicles after each use.
          • Displaying CDC COVID-19 prevention posters at all facilities to explain how to reduce exposure to, or transmission of, the virus.
          • Medical screenings for all new offenders entering the state prison system. Those who have symptoms are isolated while the source of their medical issue is investigated. Additional COVID-19 tests are being done as necessary, in accordance with public health guidelines.
          • Limiting external movement by offenders to reduce potential COVID-19 spread.
            • Limiting offender transportation to only court-ordered, high priority, and health care movements. If an offender is being transported, they are medically screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Those who have symptoms are isolated while the source of their medical issue is investigated.
            • Scaling back the work release program.
          • Canceling non-essential medical appointments for offenders so medical staff can focus on COVID-19 issues.
          • Waiving medical co-pays for offenders with fevers or flu-like symptoms.
          • Increasing recreational opportunities where possible and providing access to a movie subscription service for all offenders.
          • Increasing offenders’ communication options by:
            • Providing offenders two free five-minute phone calls to family and friends each week.
            • Providing pre-paid postcards for offenders in restrictive housing who do not have phone privileges.
          • Hosting Facility leadership meetings with offenders to explain the actions taken and the need for frequent hand-washing regimens and social distancing, to the extent possible.
          • Promoting social distancing between staff where possible:
            • Canceling large staff gatherings.
            • Suspending staff training including Basic Correctional Officer Training and In-Service training. Interviewing and hiring will proceed, including new employee orientation, using alternate interview methods, such as Skype, where possible.
            • Allowing telecommuting for non-essential personnel during the State of Emergency. Approval to telecommute is at the discretion of the warden or Facility director to ensure adequate staffing levels are in place to meet safety and security requirements