How is the COVID-19 outbreak at Fluvanna’s Correctional Center for Women being managed?

How is the COVID-19 outbreak at Fluvanna’s Correctional Center for Women being managed?
The Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. (Source: WVIR)

FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women (FCCW) is dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus. Some people are worried the prison is not taking proper precautions, but the state says otherwise.

Forty-one inmates and six staff at FCCW have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, September. In the past 24 hours, NBC29 has received unconfirmed allegations from people saying they are family members and friends of inmates and that the situation is worse than what’s being reported.

An unnamed woman who says she is a recently-released inmate claims health practices are not being followed at the facility. She claims there is no social distancing, not enough personal protective equipment, and a lack of attention to hygiene and cleaning procedures.

Lisa Kinney with the Virginia Department of Corrections says it’s just the opposite. In a statement, VDOC says FCCW is cleaning, disinfecting, and following COVID-19 protocols to help keep the virus from spreading. All coronavirus-positive inmates are in medical isolation on-site, and staff who tested positive are not entering the facility.

Kinney also says all offenders and staff are required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment at all times. In addition, they plan to test the facility as a whole next week.

Another person who reached out to NBC29 and wished to remain anonymous says their spouse is there. He says inmates are being forced to choose between more jail time or doing chores that require them to interact with others in a common area, possibly exposing them to the coronavirus.

A different person reached out to NBC29 with a similar claim: they allege if the inmates refuse to do chores, then good behavior credits are taken away.

The Virginia Department of Corrections did not respond to a clarification request on that issue.

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