Sheriff Ben Caldwell said what his staff has been doing to prevent the coronavirus spread at the Alcorn Regional Correction Facility is working.
Caldwell told Alcorn County supervisors on Monday that the local jail nor the regional facility has yet to report a positive COVID-19 case.
“What we are doing has been working pretty well,” he said. “We are quarantining (new inmates) as they come in.”
Caldwell said the regional correctional facility is currently housing 265 inmates.
“MDOC is doing transfers, but they are doing 14-day quarantines with each one,” he added.
MDOC quarantines all new admissions into the correctional facilities for 14 days to monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, following the return of hospital visits, incarcerated individuals are also quarantined for 14 days.
Those with possible exposure to a COVID-positive individual discovered through contact tracing are also quarantined for 14 days and monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
MODC has done several other things to help lessen the spread of the virus among staff and inmates.
Some of the guidelines being followed include having inmates use the sick call system to access medical staff, screening correctional staff’s temperature, suspending programming and approved leave for inmates and suspending inmate work crews. The installation of additional hand sanitizer stations have also taken place throughout facilities and in dining halls. Staff and inmates have been directed to follow CDC guidelines including wearing face masks and maintaining social distance measures. Cleaning and disinfection has increased. Good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing, has been reinforced and gloves and additional soap have been provided.
CARES Act funds were also recently approved by supervisors to be used to install UV lighting and an electrostatic sprayer for disinfectant at the entrance of the regional correctional facility.
There have been 809 positive inmate cases this year at Mississippi’s 23 state, private and regional facilities. There is currently only one active inmate case of the virus in the system. According to MDOC, 146 MDOC employees have tested positive as well.