The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has activated containment protocols with immediate effect at the Horizon Adult Correctional Facility following 5 confirmed positive Covid-19 test results received today.
“We currently can confirm 5 positive cases from 7 tests conducted at the Horizon facility. The entire inmate population has been put on lockdown as we transition from a preventative stance to one of control. As a containment measure, no new admissions will be allowed at the facility and we have had to advise the Chief Justice and Courts that these positive cases necessitate cancellation of inmate court appointments,” stated Leslie-Ann Brown, Director, Corporate Communications and Public Relations at the DCS. “Some key operational changes include but are not limited to:
- The Kingston and St. Andrew Health Department will be taking lead in managing the outbreak at the facility and will be supported by DCS’s Medical contingent
- MOHW Health Inspectors and a Response Team will be visiting the facility to meet with the team at Horizon to manage possible anxiety among prison and staff population. They will also assess the facilities cleaning procedures and line listing to facilitate contact tracing;
- Only medical appointments on a discretionary basis will be kept;
- The required volume of personal protective equipment for staff and inmates have been distributed to the facility in accordance with MOHW recommendation
- Isolation and quarantine of the known cases continues, of particular note, are the 2 negative test subjects who remain in a separate quarantine area as an additional precautionary measure,” Ms. Brown concluded.
“We anticipated that it would only be a matter of time before our team members and facilities would be impacted by community spread of the virus given the current surge in cases across the island” Commissioner of Corrections, Lt. Col. (Retired) Gary Rowe indicated. He emphasized that “Areas have been designated for the isolation and quarantine of inmates
confirmed to have the virus, and additional modalities implemented to reduce exposure to the wider population. We will continue to observe the protocols as we enforce the lockdown measures and work closely with the KSA Health Department and other key personnel to cauterize the spread.”
The Horizon Facility is the only correctional centre to record cases of COVID 19.