Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Lemon Creek Correctional Facility is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
Laura Brooks, Division Operations Manager for the Department of Correction's Division of Health and Rehabilitation Services, said that since August 22nd they have had 60 positive cases that have been epidemiologically connected, and that as of this morning, they had about 30 active cases.
Brooks was asked about mitigation measures put in place, she says they are following CDC guidelines for managing COVID in jails.
"Every individual that comes to our facility from the street when they get arrested, they're given a rapid test at intake so we can immediately identify if they contracted the virus out in the community and they need to be isolated from the beginning. All of our new remands or new arrestees are put in quarantine for 14 days before they're allowed to go into general population just to make sure that they didn't have the virus on board. Any and all positive cases are isolated during their infectious period. Vaccinations are offered to every unvaccinated inmate at remand, we check the State VacTrack system and identify those who are still unvaccinated and we offer them the vaccine as soon as they walk in the door. We also have an ongoing program to offer vaccines to all inmates at anytime."
Other measures include masking, sanitation, education regarding vaccines and COVID for inmates, and monoclonal antibody treatments for those who meet the criteria. Public visitation was also suspended. Brooks was asked about the vaccination rate at the facility.
"Because lemon Creek is an intake facility, we have a lot of inmates coming in and out every day, It's really varied from 40%-55% over the last couple of months, depending on who's in the facility at the time."
"This is a situation that we fully expected and that we were prepared for, and given what we know about COVID and the Delta variant and what's happening in the communities, I think we were pretty well prepared for this," said Brooks.
This article was corrected to state that 60 total cases have been recorded since Aug. 22nd, rather than the previously reported: "in one week."