Mass inmate testing results for 3 prisons negative for COVID-19
The Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD) Health Care Division is working with the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide. The broad-based testing administered by PSD health care, mental health and security staff at Halawa Correctional Facility (HCF) is complete. The final batch of HCF test results came back negative for the remaining 23 tested inmates.
“Facility staff did an amazing job coordinating the inmate testing. The combined presence of mental health and security staff in the housing units helped to calm inmates who were anxious, stressed or confused by the activity. This allowed the nurses to get samples quickly and complete testing faster than anticipated. The facility staff and inmates really appreciated their efforts,” said HCF Warden Scott Harrington. “HCF staff have worked diligently from day 1 to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID inside our facility.”
Kulani testing was completed on Tuesday for 164 inmates. All 164 inmate results were negative. Last week the Waiawa Correctional Facility reported all negative test results as well.
“This huge accomplishment of negative broad-based testing results in the inmate population of three prison facilities shows that staff are executing their pandemic plans daily. Everyone from the wardens and their security staff to the medical, mental health, and civilian staff are to be commended for a job well done,” said Maria Cook, Deputy Director for Administration/Acting Director. “We know this battle to keep coronavirus out is a daily one, and I am confident they will continue to make every effort to maintain the safety security and health of the inmates as well as their co-workers.”
The order of the facilities next in line for testing is being worked out. PSD is also working with DOH and the Hawaii National Guard to coordinate the testing of correctional officers and staff.
The outbreak at the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) is under control. There were no new positive results for inmates. There are currently no inmates hospitalized. Over 96% of all inmates who tested positive have recovered. There was 1 new positive staff test result reported today. Total PSD staff recoveries increased to 80.
For more information on PSD’s planning and response to COVID-19, inmate testing data, and information detailing the efforts made to safeguard the inmates, staff and public, visit our webpage at: http://dps.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-resources/