74 cases of COVID-19 at St Catherine prisonSaturday, October 23, 2021
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is reporting another outbreak of COVID-19 within its facilities, with 74 cases of the respiratory illness inside the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre.
Among the cases, one inmate has been hospitalised and two staff members at the institution have tested positive and are now in isolation, the DCS said in a press release on Saturday.
Additionally, there are three positive cases of the virus at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston, two at South Camp Juvenile and one at Hilltop Juvenile, the DCS said.
“The Medical Services Unit continues to work assiduously and has been unrelenting in the fight against the pandemic,” added the DCS in the release.
Data from the Unit indicates that since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, 332 inmates/wards and 290 staff members have recovered from the virus. Eleven deaths have been recorded consisting of seven inmates and four officers.
Meanwhile, the DCS said it has implemented additional COVID-19 measures to reduce and prevent the spread of the virus, following published guidelines from the World Health Organization, the Centres for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
“Institutions were placed on lock down, cloth masks have been prohibited and surgical masks distributed to inmates and officers and rotation of officers have been suspended in some instances. In addition, all inmates and staff of the DCS have been offered vaccines on multiple occasions,” the DCS said, adding that it will “continue to enforce measures previously implemented including temperature checks for all persons entering the institutions, handwashing and sanitisation stations along with the provision of thermometers and sanitising agents at all institutions.”
The DCS said in collaboration with the Public Health Department, it will continue swabbing exercises within the institutions.
As at October 22, 2021, 8.7 per cent of inmates from the adult correctional institutions are fully vaccinated and 1.9 per cent are partially vaccinated. Meanwhile, 23.3 per cent of the staff members have been fully vaccinated and 8.3 per cent are partially vaccinated, the DCS said.
“The Medical Services Unit continues to collaborate with the Public Health Department to conduct vaccination drives within the facilities. The leadership of the Department of Correctional Services continues to encourage inmates and staff members to vaccinate against the COVID-19 virus,” added the DCS in the release.