RICHMOND, Va. (WVVA) - Officials in Virginia say 10 inmates have died at a prison where elderly and vulnerable inmates are being held.
Earlier this month, 407 inmates at the Deerfield Correctional Center in Capron tested positively.
Prison officials say more than 10% of the state’s 27,000 inmates have now tested positive.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the death occurred at Deerfield Correctional Center, which has an assisted living unit and infirmary and holds many of the state prison system’s elderly and medically impaired offenders.
Many of the inmates at Deerfield sleep in dormitories, making social distancing difficult if not impossible.
Figures posted on a website Tuesday also showed that 36 staff members at Deerfield also currently are positive for COVID-19.
Staff from other prisons have been brought in to help run Deerfield.
“The department’s pandemic response plan consists of more than 900 pages of documents addressing every situation we have faced during this pandemic,” said VADOC Director Harold Clarke. “We responded to the outbreak at Deerfield with months of knowledge and best practices that we’ve developed since the beginning of the pandemic. As we’ve witnessed in nursing homes everywhere, the offender population at Deerfield is unfortunately more vulnerable to the coronavirus.”
“The Western Tidewater Health District has been very involved with the situation at Deerfield Correctional Center,” said Dr. Todd Wagner, VDH Health Director for the Western Tidewater Health District. “Since the first cases manifested in April, our emergency management and epidemiology staff have remained in contact with the facility to provide mitigation strategies and support as requested. During the most recent outbreak of COVID-19 at Deerfield, our staff coordinated the delivery of critical clinical supplies and personal protective equipment for the staff at Deerfield.”
As a result of the current outbreak, DFCC has experienced the highest overall number of positive cases of COVID-19 among VADOC facilities and the most COVID-19 offender deaths.
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