Jails working to keep inmates and staff safe from COVID-19

Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Medical Center for Prisoners, the Fed Med, is actively trying to prevent its inmates from getting COVID-19 in a variety of ways.

Along with masks being handed out to prisoners and staff, soap is available throughout all federal institutions and in cells.

Like the Fed Med, factories began production on cloth face masks, non-surgical medical gowns and packaging hand sanitizer.

The inmate movement has decreased nationally by 92% from this time last year and suspended visitations.

Here’s a statement we got from the Federal Bureau of Prisons today:
“We realize that suspending social visiting has an impact on inmates and their loved ones, but our primary purpose in doing so is to help keep them and the community safe. In order to compensate for the absence of in-person visits, we increased monthly telephone minutes for all inmates from 300 to 500 minutes in recognition of how important it is for families to stay in touch during this time.”

Those calls are free right now through the remainder of the pandemic.

The Greene County Jail, according to sheriff Jim Arnott, is disinfecting and screening people for the virus.

Arnott talked about the jail’s efforts in an Ozarks Tonight with David Oliver.

“We do that every day and have had to do that for 50 years because the thing that you have, you have a large amount of people in one location so before we screened for bedbugs and lice and other diseases,” Arnott said. “Now we’re just adding COVID-19 on top of it. And basically cleaning everything with disinfectant in the booking area and doing very good screening inmates that come in and if we do a good job of that as much as we can, we’re going to eliminate the chances of someone getting infected on the inside.”

Twenty-two Greene County deputies have self quarantined, and 18 are back at work.

There are currently over 50 positive cases of COVID-19 within the Federal Bureau of Prisons System in Missouri and Arkansas with no deaths.

To read more from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, click here.

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