“Three inmates from the Minimum Security Facility tested positive for COVID-19 today as part of our routine surveillance testing of the facility. The three inmates are healthy and without symptoms...”
“We have, not only with nursing homes but with congregate settings, activated our comprehensive proactive surveillance program across the board, as I have shared,” said Dr Nicole Alexander-Scott, Executive Director at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) at Governor Gina Raimondo‘s daily COVID-19 press briefing. “As a result of that, within the last 24 hours, we’ve learned, based on our proactive testing activities for the congregate setting of the ACI [Adult Correctional Institutions], we have identified a small portion of inmates who do not have symptoms but have a positive test. We’re working very closely with the ACI regarding those cases. They are isolated appropriately. And all of this has been part of our proactive response with all of our congregate settings and what we intend to do going forward across the state as a part of our expanded testing strategy.”
“How small?” asked a reporter.
“Less than about five or so, and we’re still collecting the data,” answered Dr Alexander-Scott. “So we’ll be updating that.”
I reached out to JR Ventura, Chief of Information and Public Relations Officer at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (DOC), to find out more.
“Three inmates from the Minimum Security Facility tested positive for COVID-19 today as part of our routine surveillance testing of the facility,” wrote Ventura in a press statement. “The three inmates are healthy and without symptoms. We have been preparing and have health safety protocols in place to effectively address this situation. The facility will be placed in quarantine to contain further spread of the virus. The fact that we have had no cases until today, is a welcome reminder of the importance of continuing with the preventive measures we have in place. We are complying and following all DOC and RIDOH safety protocols and standards. We are confident that our readiness plan and safety protocols to manage the virus will help us minimize its spread. There is no higher goal for this agency than to keep every person who works and is housed here safe.“
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More on this as the story develops.