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Department of Corrections responds to prisoner complaints inside area prisons, explains safety protocols

Prison bars
Posted at 3:49 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 18:21:29-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The quarters are cramped, and transmission rates are high. COVID-19 is spreading inside our area prisons and correctional institutions.

Monday, News 3 reported on the St. Brides facility in Chesapeake, where one inmate says he has not even received the first vaccine.

Tuesday, News 3 received a call from inside the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) confirmed Tuesday that Indian Creek is amid a COVID-19 outbreak, as 46 inmates and 50 staff members have the virus.

"It's our lives that are put in peril, and the betterment of lives is lessened," said inmate Tracy Moore. "We are experiencing a massive high rate of infection in compound. We are just coming off a 15-day quarantine."

The DOC has stopped all visitations to mitigate the spread until mid-February.

But Moss said there are other issues inside the prison.

"Why haven’t we been able to get second shot?" he asked News 3. "They don't give a reason. They have clinics, but no one knows when the times are."

Dr. Trey Fuller, assistant health director with the DOC, says it could just be a misunderstanding regarding Moss' case.

"They should just be able to ask. Access should be instant," said Fuller.

Fuller added that clinics are held several times a month and said the vaccination rate inside Indian Creek is at 78%.

"I would would encourage an inmate with an issue to put it in writing," he said.

Fuller said if there is an outbreak, "point prevalence," or one-time testing, for all inmates and staff is performed.

"We are also monitoring wastewater for COVID. If there there is inclination weekly that wastewater is spiking, we test full staff and inmates," said Fuller.

Moss says he feels trapped and his health is at risk.

"We have had no visits; we don’t get outside - 24 hours a day in the pod, no movement whatsoever," said Moss.

Fuller says the DOC has administered more than 25,000 vaccines since the pandemic.

"I want family members to know we are doing everything we can as hard as we can to keep family members safe," said Fuller.

For a look at the COVID states inside the DOC, click here.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.