COVID-19

COVID-19 UPDATE

 

Health officials are working hard to contain the spread of the COVID-19 (commonly known as “coronavirus”) in the United States. Please visit the DHSS COVID-19 page for information on COVID-19 in Missouri as well as tips on staying healthy.

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Missouri Department of Corrections Messages

COVID-19: Department of Corrections Preparation

The Missouri Department of Corrections works to keep COVID-19 out of state prisons and remains prepared to contain the spread of of the disease in the event of an outbreak. Here are some of the things we’re doing:

  • Effective March 24, Missouri state government buildings have been closed to the public, and many state staff members have begun working from remote locations. Prison staff continue to maintain normal operations in correctional centers.
  • One offender with multiple medical conditions, who had been in a negative-airflow isolation chamber since March 4 and was hospitalized March 19, tested positive for COVID-19 March 23 in a Kansas City area hospital. He has since tested negative twice. He did not have contact with other offenders. All staff in contact with him used personal protective equipment.
  • Effective March 23, Securus is providing each offender with up to two free 10-minute phone calls each week to help offenders stay in contact with family and friends while offender visits are suspended. The call credits are assigned weekly. The receiving party is not charged. 
  • Effective March 12, 2020, offender visiting is suspended at all state prisons for 30 days. This decision was made as a preventative measure to protect the health of staff and offenders. After 30 days, the department will reassess the situation and make appropriate decisions.
  • Interstate compact transfers to and from Missouri have been suspended.
  • Offender transfers among Department of Corrections facilities have been suspended, except in extenuating circumstances.
  • Any staff member or other person entering any Missouri Department of Corrections facility, office or other property will be screened. All staff must complete a screening process before entering a Corrections property to begin work. Staff who do not successfully complete the screening will be given instructions and information regarding next steps. Adult institutions are equipped with thermometers for staff, volunteer and vendor temperature checks. 
  • Strict sanitizing schedules have been implemented at all facilities. All facilities have ample access to soap, sanitizer and other cleaning products. A point person has been designated at each facility to ensure adherence to the sanitizing schedule and to ensure that soap and sanitizer are always stocked.
  • Effective March 22, all Missouri Parole Board hearings will be conducted through video conference. Hearings that victims have requested to attend may be postponed.
  • Screening on intake is enhanced at community supervision centers (CSCs), residential facilities and the Transition Center of St. Louis (TCSTL). Probation and Parole administrators are working on a plan to address referrals to community corrections facilities.  
  • Probation and parole officers are employing expanded alternative supervision methods where appropriate, including community visits, phone contact, video visits and electronic monitoring.
  • All employee health nurses are informed and stay updated through a weekly call. They have a protocol in place to identify COVID-19 symptoms and take appropriate action.
  • Every offender is screened at intake using a screening tool recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Corizon Health is prepared to identify symptoms and take appropriate action.
  • Any offender showing signs of the disease will be placed in isolation. A test for the coronavirus may be administered following guidance from medical professionals. Each prison has been directed to prepare isolation beds/wings.
  • Any person attempting to enter a Probation and Parole office is required to complete a screening process before entering. 
  • Each prison already has a pandemic plan in place. These plans have been modified to include specifics for the coronavirus.
  • All Probation and Parole offices and community corrections facilities have a pandemic plan in place. 
  • Flyers have been posted at worksites with tips on preventing the spread of communicable diseases. 
  • MODOC leaders have twice-daily calls at 7:30 a.m. and noon with the Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) and other state leaders to monitor the situation.
  • Both Corizon and MODOC have designated staff to check in with DHSS and CDC daily for updates.
  • Missouri Vocational Enterprises (MVE) is prepared when dealing with hospital laundry. Our process has been approved by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council. All offenders wear protective gear and have been educated and personally instructed on handling hospital laundry safely and employing techniques to mitigate risk.

Helping the Community

Three Missouri Vocational Enterprises (MVE) factories have modified their operations to provide much-needed products and services to government agencies and nonprofit organizations during the public health crisis:

  • The chemical plant at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in Bonne Terre began production of hand sanitizer, yielding 6,800 gallons in the first week.
  • The toilet paper factory in Cameron ramped up production, with an additional 600-800 cases each week; it now produces 3,500 cases (336,000 rolls) every week.
  • The clothing factory at Jefferson City Correctional Center is making 4,000 protective gowns requested by the Missouri Veterans Commission.

If you have urgent questions about COVID-19, you may call 877-435-8411. This line is open 24/7.


Official Public Health Resources

What You Should Know: COVID-19