SECC Offenders Test Positive for COVID-19

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April 23, 2020

Hello, Team MODOC. 

The department has received notification that 19 offenders in a quarantined housing wing at Southeast Correctional Center (SECC) have tested positive for COVID-19.

Following positive test results for three offenders in the wing earlier this week — and three positives for staff earlier this month — we took proactive measures to gather the data we need to help protect SECC staff, as well as offenders in the facility, and work to contain the virus. Yesterday, we tested 146 people — all 64 offenders in the housing wing and 82 staff members, including Corizon staff. Today we learned that 19 of the offenders and none of the staff tested had positive test results.

As you know, aggressive quarantine strategies are an established component of the department’s viral containment plan. The affected SECC housing wing has been quarantined since April 15, when the first offender with COVID-19 symptoms was tested and isolated. Residents of the other three wings have been screened, with temperature checks. All offenders with COVID-19 symptoms and their cell mates are isolated pending test results.

The three SECC staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, as well as all staff with whom they had close contact, are in quarantine at home.

To provide further protection, more than 70,000 protective face covers manufactured by Missouri Vocational Enterprises have been distributed to staff and offenders at every Missouri Department of Corrections facility. Each SECC staff member and offender has been issued one or more of these face covers, which can be cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines. The department also has a supply of medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand for use by staff working with or near offenders who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Thank you for your support and cooperation in implementing viral containment plans in our institutions and for finding creative solutions for supervising with offenders while maintaining physical distance in the community. It takes all of us working together to protect our health, inside and outside our facilities.

Please continue to look out for one another. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Anne L. Precythe