More than 200 COVID-19 cases reported at Ga. state prisons
Currently, a total of 936 staff members and 1,933 inmates statewide have tested positive
By Jozsef Papp
The Augusta Chronicle
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Local state prisons, including Augusta State Medical Prison and Augusta Transitional Center, have seen more than 200 COVID-19 cases, with the majority of them being inmates.
According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, there have been 124 positive cases among inmates and 71 cases among staff at the medical prison. Sixty-two staff members and 117 inmates have recovered, but five prisoners have died.
The Augusta Transitional Center reported much lower numbers, with only six inmates and three staff members testing positive and no deaths reported. No positive cases have been reported at the Richmond County Correctional Institution.
Augusta State Medical Prison has the most cases among all the prisons in the state with 195, followed by the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson with 153.
As of Sunday, 936 staff and 1,933 inmates statewide have tested positive, with 852 staff members and 1,764 inmates having recovered, according to Corrections Department data. Two staff members and 71 inmates have died from COVID-19.
At local jails, the number of inmates and staff members who have tested positive has continually decreased. Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said at a press conference Thursday that the sheriff's office had only one positive active case and three inmates in quarantine at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.
Earlier this year, the sheriff's office had 64 inmates test positive but said it was able to limit the spread to two pods at the detention center. Roundtree said 160 employees have tested positive, with one death and a few requiring hospitalization.
He said they averaged about eight to 10 new cases a week but now it is down to about three to five cases a week.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office continues to see no new cases among inmates or staff at its detention center. Maj. Steve Morris said 50 employees have tested positive since March.
In Aiken County, two inmates and two staff members at the Aiken County Detention Center have tested positive since Sept. 22. As many as 26 inmates had tested positive at the detention center.
The Burke County Sheriff's Office has no active positive cases among inmates or staff at the county detention center. In August, the sheriff's office reported 20 inmates had tested positive for the virus.
Each jail has protocols in place for a positive case among inmates or staff.
©2020 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.)