COVID-19 Mass-Testing Planned of the NCCIW Offender Population Test Results Show New Outbreak at the Prison

Raleigh

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety is continuing its efforts to contain and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons by conducting testing of the offender population statewide. This week mass offender population testing will be conducted at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women (NCCIW) in Raleigh.
 
Testing for the entire facility will be conducted after multiple offenders in one housing unit at NCCIW last week showed symptoms of virus, were immediately isolated, tested for the virus and had positive test results. The next day, July 2, all 227 offenders in that housing unit were tested for the COVID-19. The results came in over the weekend and showed 45 were positive for the virus.
 
The positive offenders were separated and placed in medical isolation, and the negative offenders who were potentially exposed to the virus were placed under medical quarantine, with close observation and twice daily temperature checks. This was done in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
 
Around 90 offenders at a different housing unit at the prison had tested positive for the virus at the end of April. Since the pandemic began, a total of 877 of the 31,500 offender population have tested positive for COVID-19 and a total of 764 are presumed recovered under criteria established by the CDC and DHHS. 

The N.C. Department of Public Safety continues to offer an initiative that provides voluntary COVID-19 testing to employees in its Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice (ACJJ). The testing initiative is being offered in collaboration with the State Health Plan, FastMed Urgent Care and LabCorp provides more than 21,000 ACJJ employees statewide the opportunity to schedule a private appointment to be tested at FastMed locations and other locations statewide. To date, more than 2,500 employees have taken part in testing through this collaborative effort.

The Division of Prisons has taken more than four dozen actions to help prevent the emergence of COVID-19 into the prison system and, if it does get in, to contain it within individual prison facilities and to keep it from spreading to other prisons. Those actions, and a chart showing the prison-by-prison results of COVID-19 testing, can be found here.

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