As COVID-19 cases continue to rise rapidly in the state, the Washington County Regional Correctional Facility has taken strides to minimize the potential for further outbreaks at the facility as well as the county jail.
“We had the Mississippi State Department of Health come down to test all of the inmates and all of the employees,” Sheriff Milton Gaston said.
Once learning of the results, WCRCF staff made sure those who tested positive for COVID-19 were separated from those who tested negative.
Gaston also highlighted the assistance of doctors to ensure inmates who have medical conditions are taken care of.
Regarding WCRCF staff, Gaston said even though there have been some to test positive for COVID-19, the facility has not lacked in the number of staff members it needs to be managed day to day.
“Everybody has everything they need and have been seen by a doctor and are following the CDC guidelines,” Gaston added.
One relative said she was very concerned about her grandson who is currently an inmate at the WCRCF and has high blood pressure.
She was relieved to know he was able to get some of his medications and will be seen by a nurse.
“They’re trying to take care of business,” she said. “But I’m still very concerned about the number of inmates who have the virus.”
The specific number of inmates and staff to test positive for COVID-19 were not available by press time.
In a press release dated May 29, the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ (MDOC) Office of Communication said the department was resuming inmate movement in a limited, controlled and safe manner.
“Visitation at all institutions remains temporarily suspended, and telephone reporting for parolees, probationers, and others on community supervision will continue for the June reporting period,” the press release stated.
As it pertains to those inmates who are scheduled for transport to another correctional facility, the press release stated, “Routine screenings and temperature checks will be performed daily before each inmate leaves the facility on or after June 12. If the inmate does not clear the screening process, the transfer will be delayed and the protocol for a suspected COVID-19 case, including medical isolation and testing, will be followed.”