CHARLESTON — Retesting at the South Central Regional Jail shows COVID-19 has been largely contained, with 57 positive and 433 negative results among inmates and six positive and 84 negative results among staff.
The positive inmates are in just five of the jail’s 24 housing units, including the two units where cases prompted the second round of enhanced testing at the facility. None of the positive inmates require care at this time in the jail’s medical section or at an outside facility. The positive employees are all self-quarantining at home.
South Central remains on lockdown, with no movement among its housing sections, and the five affected units are quarantined. All inmates are screened and their temperatures checked daily, with those in the affected units being checked, having their temperatures taken and screened twice per day.
The jail will begin sanitizing all hallways nightly with a disinfecting fogger machine, and the W.Va. National Guard is prepared to sanitize the five housing units when ready.
As these measures show, the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation continues to follow its response plan for the COVID-19 pandemic. DCR is also drawing from its experiences at its Huttonsville Correctional Center, where more than 120 inmates tested positive in May, the final active inmate case there recovered in early July.
DCR launched the retesting in coordination with Gov. Jim Justice’s office, the W.Va. Department of Health and Human Resources and its Bureau for Public Health. It has also provided updates to the local health department.
South Central remains able to quarantine new arrivals. The jail held 539 inmates as of Tuesday morning. Of that total, 308 inmates or 57 percent are pretrial defendants. To address the risk of COVID-19 within correctional facilities, the W.Va. Supreme Court called on magistrates and circuit judges in late March to consider personal recognizance or reduced bond for “any pre-trial individuals who do not constitute a public safety risk.” The jail now has 132 more inmates than when that guidance was issued.