PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Prince George's County Department of Corrections is reporting its first positive cases of COVD-19. Three inmates and one correctional officer tested positive for the virus.
All three inmates are quarantined in negative pressure isolation cells in the facility’s medical unit, while the officer is self-isolating at home. Moving forward, any inmate exhibiting coronavirus symptoms will also be isolated.
The DOC has moved to an enhanced lockdown status to practice social distancing more efficiently. Movement within the facility has been restricted, allowing fewer inmates out of their cell at one time. Staff members who have contact with inmates have been supplied with masks. Medical staff members are taking temperatures and monitoring for symptoms twice a day in the affected housing units.
"As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the community, the Department of Corrections has been preparing for an increase in positive cases in the jail," Department of Corrections Director, Mary Lou McDonough, said. "We have taken several measures to ensure that we contain the virus in the facility and keep those in our custody and our employees safe."
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Even before the positive tests, the facility had already implemented additional safety measures. Temperature checks for staff have been conducted in the jail's lobby for the past two weeks, and anyone with a fever has been denied access.
In March, a District Court judge agreed to release 50 inmates charged with low-level offenses, in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus within the jail.
In D.C., 12 inmates in DOC custody have tested positive for coronavirus.