Prison facility in Glendive reports COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 1:09 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 16:55:33-05

GLENDIVE - An outbreak of COVID-19 has been reported The Dawson County Correctional Facility in Glendive.

Dawson County Sheriff Ross Canen said in a press release that testing conducted in December identified 53 cases of the virus in the joint state and county facility that houses. Five of the positive tests were among county inmates, and 12 facility staff members have also tested positive.

None of the inmates have been hospitalized, the sheriff said. The facility holds 170 offenders.

“We have been extremely fortunate to have kept COVID-19 out of the facility for this long, and I think that is due to the abundance of caution practiced by our staff,” said Canen. “Now that the virus is here, we are continuing to follow guidelines provided by the Centers on Disease Control and state health officials. In addition, we are working closely with our local health department to ensure necessary testing and receive guidance to effectively manage the situation. “

The press release states the facility has made efforts to ensure the health and safety of its inmates and staff, including:

· Education of staff and inmates about how to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19, and how to prevent the spread of the virus though good personal hygiene, social distancing, use of personal protective equipment.

· Increased cleaning and disinfection at the facility.

· Proper use of PPE by inmates and staff, including masks, rubber gloves, etc.

· Mandatory testing for staff and contractors.

· Restriction of offender movement in and out of the facility.

The facility is in consultation with the local health department, is ensuring proper quarantine and isolation of infected inmates. The health department is also completing contact tracing related to the outbreak.

Medical staff conduct daily visits to offenders to answer questions, monitor offender health status, and provide appropriate medical care.

“Our staff is continuing to do what we do — keep staff, our inmate population and the public safe,” Canen said.