News Education Sports Obits Events Contests Classifieds Autos Jobs Search
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

With no cases of COVID-19 found among offenders or staff, visiting resumed last week at Algoa Correctional Center — with restrictions.

Jefferson City and Tipton correctional centers are also set to have all their offenders and staff tested this month, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Algoa was one of the first DOC facilities in the state to have all its offenders and staff tested for COVID-19. That sentinel, or mass testing of offenders and staff at all DOC facilities, began May 26.

Testing at Algoa and Chillicothe Correctional Center began May 31, after Southeast Correctional Center and South Central Correctional Center were tested.

DOC spokeswoman Karen Pojmann said Wednesday although the dates are subject to change, mass testing is scheduled to begin the week of July 6 at Jefferson City Correctional Center and the week of July 20 at Tipton Correctional Center.

Those facilities have not had cases among offenders or staff, either, according to DOC.

The biggest outbreaks in Missouri's prisons have been at Southeast Correctional Center, in Charleston; Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, in Bonne Terre; and Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, in Vandalia.

SECC has had 47 offender cases and 19 staff cases since March; ERDCC, 40 offender and seven staff cases; and WERDCC, 10 offender and nine staff cases.

"SECC did a great job of containing the small outbreak they experienced, and the testing revealed only a handful of new positives; more than half of those affected have recovered," DOC Director Anne Precythe said in a June 12 update to the department's staff.

Twenty-nine offenders and eight staff members had recovered, per the information on DOC's website.

As of June 24, DOC reported 9,225 of its inmates had been tested.

Precythe shared June 12 that "Members of the executive team and I were tested on Tuesday, June 9, and all of us tested negative. Other Central Office staff will be tested in June and July."

Testing of all staff and offenders in the state is expected to be completed in August, according to a June 15 department update.

Start dates for visiting to resume — which has been suspended since March 12 — will vary between prisons, with facilities with no cases found to be the first to resume visiting.

Visitation at Algoa — as well as at South Central Correctional Center, in Licking, and Chillicothe Correctional Center, also set to resume visits last week — will require visitors to call ahead to the facility and schedule an appointment; ask to speak to the staff member in charge of the visiting schedule.

Algoa's phone number is 573-751-3911. Other facilities' contact information is listed at doc.mo.gov/facilities/adult-institutions/address-listing.

Visiting will be increased to four days a week, Thursday-Sunday, according to the DOC, but visiting rooms will be at 30 percent capacity, with two-hour slots and two visitors allowed per offender.

All visitors will have to pass a COVID-19 screening with a temperature check before entering the check-in area, and anyone who's sick may be turned away.

Only two visits will be allowed per month, and no children younger than 18 will be allowed.

Visitors, staff and offenders will be required to wear a face cover or mask in the visiting area, and visitors will have to bring their own.

No physical contact will be allowed between visitors and offenders — no embrace or kiss and no contact at the table.

More information on visiting and restrictions is available at doc.mo.gov/programs/family-friends/visiting.

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT