CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many prisons across central Virginia are working to get a handle on coronavirus outbreaks. The situations intensified over just a few days.
Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women reports 40 inmate cases, but now 11 staff have the virus and two inmates have been hospitalized.
Central Virginia Regional Jail now reports nine active inmate cases of COVID-19 and one staff case, forcing many to quarantine.
“We have a housing area set up for new bookings to come in and when they come in we keep them in there for the 14-day period, so it has only affected that housing area currently," CVRJ Superintendent Frank Dyer said.
Because of this, Dyer believes they have the situation under control with a total of 56 in-custody COVID tests administered.
He says the nine inmates who tested positive were quarantined, retested on Monday, and await results. The one staff member is also quarantining; 27 other staff have tested negative.
“We take COVID-19 very seriously here, the staff do, you know we’re doing our best to ensure that the health of inmates is entrusted to our care,” Dyer said.
Many more concerns lie with the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.
Savannah Young’s sister Faye Wilson is incarcerated at Fluvanna and calls home three times a day. According to the sisters, the facility has completely shut down its kitchen for two weeks.
Trailers, trucks, and tents now line the parking lot of the facility.
“They’ve had food trucks apparently outside, that’s where they’re getting their food and she said everything that’s coming in is just small portions like the size of a child portion," Young said. "It’s been running late and everything, it’s been crazy.”
According to Lisa Kinney with the Virginia Department of Corrections, the DOC sent a mobile kitchen to Fluvanna.
“Some chips and carrots? That’s not a real meal and that’s supposed to be dinner," Young said.
Young says this new mobile kitchen run by the DOC isn’t feeding inmates enough and serves as one of the many examples of how Fluvanna treats the women there.
“They’re not giving adequate treatment to these prisoners like they’re saying they are," she said. "They’re not treating them like humans, they’re treating them like they don’t matter.”
Fluvanna’s entire facility of 953 inmates is being tested for COVID-19. Up until this point, only one building had been tested for the virus. The facility should know the results in a few days.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM CENTRAL VIRGINIA REGIONAL JAIL:
Our COVID-19 tests are sent to Genetworx our Laboratory Testing Provider, they in turn report test results to Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District, our test results are also reported online by our staff to the State.
We have had COVID- 19 Procedures in place since March 12, 2020. On August 24, 2020, the Central Virginia Regional had the first two inmate positive COVID-19 test results.
One of these individuals has been released from custody, the second is currently in custody of the jail and has cleared the 14-day protocol and 2 negative test results.
As a result of these positive tests, a total of 31 additional COVID-19 tests were completed, all were negative and all 31 inmates have cleared a 14-day quarantine period.
On September 11, 2020, the Central Virginia Regional Jail had the third positive COVID-19 test result. 22 additional tests were administered. 9 of those additional tests were positive for COVID-19. The remaining 12 were negative for COVID-19.
The 9 positive individuals are being retested on September 14, 2020. All of these individuals were housed in L Block, which is the designated 14-day quarantine block. At this time, this is the only housing area affected by COVID-19.
Due to the number of inmates that have tested positive, we have established our alternate housing area for positive COVID-19 inmates.
A total of 17 pre-booking COVID-19 tests have been administered. There have been a total of 56 in custody COVID-19 tests administered. A total of 28 staff have been tested with only one positive test result.
In addition, there have been 500 Flu Vaccines ordered that will be offered to all staff and the entire inmate population, in preparedness for Flu Season, these vaccines will be funded by grant monies.