Total COVID-19 cases in Wis. prison system break 5,000

Among staff, 1,126 DOC employees have self-reported testing positive, with 256 of those cases active


By Emily Hamer
The Wisconsin State Journal

MADISON, Wis. — The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Wisconsin prison system broke 5,000 for the first time Thursday, and the active case count surpassed 2,000.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections reported 467 new cases in a single day Thursday, bringing the total number of prisoners infected since the pandemic began to 5,392. Of those, 2,063 cases were active.

Six prisons had active outbreaks of more than 100 cases Thursday, and even more had dozens of active cases.

One prison, New Lisbon Correctional Institution, had a nearly tenfold increase in reported COVID-19 cases from Wednesday to Thursday. The medium-security prison had just 31 active cases among inmates Wednesday, but that number skyrocketed to 305 active cases Thursday, according to DOC's data dashboard.

So far, DOC has reported a total of 10 COVID-19-related inmate deaths, measured as prisoner deaths in which a local medical examiner or coroner has confirmed that the virus was an underlying cause of death or a significant condition that contributed to death.

More prisoners may have died from COVID-19, but they won't be added to DOC's data dashboard until the medical examiner confirms it.

Among staff, 1,126 DOC employees have self-reported testing positive, with 256 of those cases active Thursday, DOC reported.

The five other prisons with massive outbreaks of more than 100 cases are Redgranite Correctional Institution with 298 active cases among inmates Thursday, Stanley Correctional Institution with 297, Waupun Correctional Institution with 285, Dodge Correctional Institution with 170 and Jackson Correctional Institution with 155.

Prisons with smaller but still sizable outbreaks included Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility with 82 active cases among inmates Thursday, Racine Correctional Institution/Sturtevant Transitional Facility with 74, Green Bay Correctional Institution with 66, Winnebago Correctional Center with 64, Taycheedah Correctional Institution with 60, Fox Lake Correctional Institution with 41, Oshkosh Correctional Institution with 41, Ellsworth Correctional Center with 37 and Black River Correctional Center with 34.

DOC's policy is for infected prisoners to be isolated and medically cared for, and for exposed inmates to be quarantined.

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(c)2020 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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