The Department of Corrections is gearing up to test all 600-plus inmates and detainees at both their facilities.
All staff at the Department of Corrections were already tested and none were positive for COVID-19. The testing of the prison’s employees was prompted by a DOC recruit and a DOC corrections officer testing positive for coronavirus within the last two months. Now, DOC and the Department of Public Health and Social Services are turning their efforts towards testing the prison population.
DOC Major Antone Aguon said DOC is now moving to the next phase which is testing all the inmates. “We are still finalizing that plan with Public Health. I am not sure if it’s going to happen this week or next week, but we are still working out the details to test all 600-plus prisoners,” Aguon said.
He said the plan includes developing protocols for a quarantine area at the prison facilities to separate those tested from those pending results.
But first things first, Aguon said DOC needs to secure the necessary equipment.
“The plan at this time is to get DOC a machine they use to do the testing, I forget the name. But to provide DOC with the equipment so that our nurses here can test new confinees as they come in. So that is part of our action plan,” Aguon said.
The GMH nurses assigned to DOC will then need to undergo training on utilizing the COVID-testing equipment. Aguon adds that testing of all currently confined inmates and detainees could take two to three days.