The department has implemented “many operational changes” to mitigate the potential spread of the deadly virus, including by eliminating visiting and reentry partner and volunteer programs, it said this week. Group sizes within the facilities have been restricted and containment plans put in place, DOC said.
Offenders and staff at all state prisons have also been given washable face covers, DOC said. The Missouri Vocational Enterprises manufactured more than 52,000 masks and everyone is expected to have two by the end of the week.
In Missouri, at least 488 people have died from coronavirus and more than 9,900 have tested positive. Here’s a look at the positive cases within the DOC. (This story will be regularly updated and reflect data from DOC.)
Forty-four inmates have tested positive for coronavirus, and one has since died. A total of 483 inmates have been tested altogether, as of May 11.
The first offender tested positive for COVID-19 in late March. The individual had been monitored for a respiratory condition and isolated at the Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in St. Joseph since early March before being admitted to a Kansas City-area hospital.
On April 21, DOC confirmed an individual at Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston — a men’s state prison — had tested positive for COVID-19. He was the first offender to test positive while inside a Missouri state prison, the department said.
Since, a total of 43 inmates have tested positive at the Southeast Correctional Center. Officials said the offenders were housed in a quarantined wing, and a containment plan is in place.
Among DOC staff, 19 prison workers and seven non-prison workers have tested positive for coronavirus.
The positive cases among prison staff are:
- Southeast Correctional Center: 14
- Ozark Correctional Center: 1
- Western Missouri Correctional Center: 1
- Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center: 1
- Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center: 1
One other employee tested positive but while on leave, the department said.
Among non-prison DOC employees, positive cases have been reported in Brookfield, Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Warrensburg.
This story has been updated. It was originally published on April 21.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.