The Missouri Department of Corrections has received notification that an offender has tested positive for COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. This notification marks the first reported case of COVID-19 among MODOC offenders. There are no reported cases of COVID-19 among staff.
The offender is currently being treated at a Kansas City area hospital, where he was admitted on March 19. Before being hospitalized, the offender was being monitored for a suspected respiratory condition and had been isolated in a negative airflow chamber at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in St. Joseph since March 4. No other offenders have had contact with the infected offender since March 4.
Medical and custody staff have followed all safety protocols to minimize exposure. Staff interacting with the offender have worn personal protective equipment in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. All rooms and vehicles the offender occupied were immediately sanitized.
All staff who have been in contact with the infected offender have been notified. The MDOC is working with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to monitor the situation.
“Protecting the health, safety, and security of staff, offenders and the public remains the top priority, and the department continues to take precautions to mitigate the potential spread of the virus. Preventative measures in place include the screening of all staff members and anyone else seeking entrance to MODOC facilities, offices, and other properties; enforcement of strict sanitization schedules at each facility with cleaning supplies recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the suspension of offender visits; the suspension of internal transfers; and close monitoring of all offenders and staff, with isolation procedures in place to protect offenders and staff from anyone exhibiting signs of a communicable disease. Corizon Health, which provides offender medical care at all MODOC facilities, is equipped with tests, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and a pandemic protocol.”
The Department of Corrections continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and make additional operational and preventative decisions as the situation evolves.