DOC gearing up to test more than 600 inmates and detainees

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DOC adjusted its operations to ensure the risk of infection does not make its way into the Mangilao and Hagatna facilities which house a total of 650 inmates and detainees.

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.

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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.

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“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.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.