Message from Director Anne Precythe on Sentinel Testing

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May 29, 2020

Hello Team DOC!

We are in day four of sentinel testing for COVID-19. In our first two days, we conducted 2,674 tests. We are anxiously awaiting the results. You will be able to see the update on our COVID-19 page by the end of each work day as results come in.

I want to give a HUGE shout out to our first two teams participating in the testing, SECC and SCCC. They are going through the process like champs! And once again, I am very proud of how our department is responding to a new challenge. Keep up the great work! CCC and ACC, you have tough shoes to fill, but I know you are both up to it!!

The four reception and diagnostic centers and four treatment locations will be up next. We will test offenders and staff at ERDCC and WERDCC the week of June 8; FRDC and WRDCC the week of June 15; FCC and MTC the week of June 22; and NECC and OCC the week of June 29.

I have heard from a few staff wondering whether participation is mandatory. I appreciate hearing their concerns and have answered their questions. I thought I would go ahead and share my response with everyone:

Statewide, we are using the same protocol developed at SECC when the first round of “box-in” testing was conducted on HU4. Refusal to submit to the test will require the employee to go home on their own leave for a 14-day quarantine period and will make the employee ineligible for the pandemic pay.

Having said that, I want to add a few other points:

  1. Testing is important to help Missouri open up and move forward. This is important to the Governor. He wants to know the status of everyone working or living in close proximity to others. This means all of our prisons, jails, mental health facilities, youth homes, nursing homes, assisted living homes, etc.
  2. Testing is critical, and we are finally in a position in Missouri where we have the necessary supplies to be able to do large numbers of tests. This should begin to give folks confidence not only as they come to work but also as they return home to their families.
  3. This is just the beginning. Until we know more about this virus, we must continue to listen to the experts, follow their guidance and stay alert and cautious.

I hope you will come to appreciate the value of testing. I am confident this is the right thing to do at this time.

I also want to encourage all members of the corrections team not working in a facility to participate in community testing when it comes to your county or another location near you.  The test is free, and every Missouri resident qualifies. You do not have to have symptoms of the virus or exposure to the virus to be tested. Check the schedule, and register in advance. Take your families. Encourage your clients and their families to participate. This is the key to our communities safely reengaging in the workforce, school activities, summer programs, etc. Please take advantage of this free opportunity!

One last thing: June is ENGAGE 2.0 month!! Upward Feedback and Evaluation emails will be coming out next week. Please take time to complete these. We did exceptionally well completing the March E2.0 evaluations and upward feedback, and I know this month’s will be just as good. I have heard many stories from folks about team members who have stepped up, improved performance, or maintained steady good habits; they should be acknowledged in these tools for their extra effort and solid performance.  

Together, we have all hit this crisis head on and risen to the challenge. I am so proud to be a part of this department. Thank you once again for being an outstanding team!

Anne L. Precythe