The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is reporting an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among the inmate population in the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre in recent weeks.
Currently, 74 inmates have tested positive for the virus while one inmate has been hospitalized. Two staff members at the institution have tested positive and are now in isolation.
Additionally, there are three positive cases of the virus at Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, two at South Camp Juvenile and one at Hilltop Juvenile.
The Medical Services Unit continues to work assiduously and has been unrelenting in the fight against the pandemic. Data from the Unit has indicated that since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, 332 inmates/wards and 290 staff members have recovered from the virus. Eleven deaths have been recorded: seven inmates and four officers.
Meanwhile, the DCS has implemented additional COVID-19 measures to reduce and prevent the spread of the virus. The measures follow published guidelines from the World Health Organization, the Centres for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health and Wellness. Institutions were placed on lock down, cloth masks have been prohibited and surgical masks distributed to inmates and Officers and rotation of Officers have been suspended in some instances.
The DCS will continue to enforce measures previously implemented including temperature checks for all persons entering the institutions, handwashing and sanitization stations along with the provision of thermometers and sanitizing agents at all institutions. The DCS in collaboration with the Public Health Department continues swabbing exercises within the institutions.
To date, 8.69% of inmates from the adult correctional institutions are fully vaccinated and 1.93% are partially vaccinated. Meanwhile, 23.31% of the staff members have been inoculated and 8.34% are partially vaccinated. The Medical Services Unit continues to collaborate with the Public Health Department to conduct vaccination drives within the facilities.
The leadership of the Department of Correctional Services continues to encourage inmates and staff members to vaccinate against the COVID-19 virus.