COVID-19 cases still rising at hard-hit Ill. prison

IDOC is protecting staff and inmates by "implementing surveillance and outbreak mitigation testing strategies"


Commercial-News

DANVILLE, Ill. — The Danville Correctional Center continues to see an increasing number of inmates and staff testing positive for COVID-19.

More than 40 percent of the inmate population of 1,546 males have now been infected at some point since the pandemic began at the medium-security prison. The major spike in case numbers began in late fall.

The Illinois Department of Corrections on Thursday evening reported 728 COVID-19 cases among inmates, 610 of which are active and 118 recovered. Those numbers reflected an increase of 47 active cases over a two-day period this week.

There have been 134 cases among staff members reported since March. Of those, 48 remain active cases and 86 have recovered. The active staff cases have slowed, with only three new cases over the two-day period prior to year's end.

In an effort to deal with the prison outbreak, IDOC states that it is taking "aggressive steps to protect staff and men and women in custody by implementing surveillance and outbreak mitigation testing strategies ..."

That mitigation effort began the week of Dec. 6 as the outbreak surged.

"When implemented at a facility, all staff will be routinely tested and the frequency of testing will be determined by the Office of Health Services based on the positivity rate of the county in which the facility is located," according to IDOC. "When the Office of Health Services identifies an outbreak at a facility, all staff and individuals in custody at that facility will be tested approximately every three days until no new cases are identified for 14 days. At that time, the outbreak will be considered under control and staff will undergo COVID-19 testing in accordance with the facility surveillance testing protocol."

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(c)2021 the Commercial-News (Danville, Ill.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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