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Virginia DOC to rapidly increase coronavirus testing of inmates

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 11:51:39-04

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Corrections has partnered with local colleges and the health department to dramatically increase testing of inmates.

Virginia DOC has partnered with Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia, and the Virginia Department of Health to increase testing of incarcerated offenders.

The Virginia Department of Health will begin to send staff to VADOC facilities on Monday to assist with the increased testing.

The VADOC says they have ordered hundreds of additional tests, and VCU, UVA, and the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services are also sending hundreds of tests to the facilities.

The VADOC says they are testing all symptomatic inmates.

434 VADOC inmates have been tested for COVID-19. Currently, 116 offenders and 50 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus, VADOC reports.

An inmate from the Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland who tested positive for COVID-19 died last week at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, the Virginia Department of Corrections announced.

The VADOC began point prevalence testing last week, which involves testing asymptomatic inmates. The testing will test for surveillance purposes rather than just symptoms, so VADOC is able to treat positive cases sooner.

Point prevalence testing has been done at Harrisonburg CCAP and Haynesville Correctional Center, and will be done this week at Deerfield Correctional Center, according to the VADOC officials.

VADOC employees, like all state employees, normally coordinate their coronavirus testing through their healthcare provider; however, due to the at-risk population at Deerfield Correctional Center, all employees at Deerfield will be tested by VADOC.

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