Mourning the recent loss of one of their own, the Department of Corrections is determined to move forward with its mission to protect those within their custody.
DOC has been anticipating the virus making it past their perimeter since the pandemic began, knowing it was just a matter of time. Now that the virus is within the prison’s walls, DOC Director Joe Carbullido says their action plan is being executed.
“I’ve shared a copy of our COVID-19 mitigation plan with our oversight chair, Senator Terlaje, for public safety. So he has a copy of that plan and I’ve explained in detail what that plan is about. Everything that is included in that plan is being executed as we speak,” Carbullido said.
At this time, the department has dedicated POST 7 as their quarantine area. But that is already at half capacity, forcing the department to quarantine a bulk of their COVID-positive inmates within their existing cohorts.
Taking into account the rising number of COVID cases at the Mangilao compound, the DOC action plan includes revamping one of the domes into a quarantine facility and utilizing warrior tents for an additional COVID quarantine area.
“Some are probably pending additional resources and are dependent on those resources coming our way but most of our action plan have already been executed. The outside resources are not within my control so I can’t control the timeline. I made the requests and follow through every day to make sure that we’re getting resources. Some of it is already ongoing, the work is in progress like the domes,” Carbullido said.
Carbullido says converting one of the domes into a quarantine area is underway and the warrior tents have been ordered.
“Those are already in progress. They’ve been approved and they’re in progress with DPW. So I am constantly in communication with DPW,” Carbullido said.
DOC is also working on standing up a testing facility so that testing can be conducted regularly in-house.
“We’re supposed to get two testing capabilities, two different types of testing for our incoming confinements, down at the Hagatna Detention facility because that’s one of the mitigations that I want to ensure is in place. Again, it’s in the plan,” Carbullido said.
Proper certifications and waivers are needed from Public Health to move forward with implementing DOC’s in-house testing. Carbullido says Public Health is working on getting that waiver, adding that if officers assigned to DOC’s visitation center need to be trained to deliver the swab tests, that’s what will happen.
Should DOC administer tests in-house, Public Health will still be in charge of processing the tests and providing the results to the department.