Ozarks Correctional Center employee test positive for COVID-19

Local News

FORDLAND, Mo. – A contracted employee at the Ozarks Correctional Center has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been sent home to quarantine along with all the staffers who had been in contact with that worker.

Karen Pojmann said Monday (5-11-20) that the staffer works for a company contracted by the Department of Corrections. She could not reveal what that worker does at the prison without possibly revealing his or her identity.

There were no other positive tests at the facility, she said.

DOC employees who were sent home are being paid with either sick leave or administrative leave. Payment for contracted workers is up the company that employs them.

According to a Department of Corrections website, there is only one confirmed positive at the Fordland facility. There are 19 staff members statewide who have tested positive.

At the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Mo. 42 offenders in one housing wing have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation. No offenders currently housed at any other prison have tested positive for the virus, according to the DOC.

The department has put in place various steps to limit the spread of the virus, including:

  • Manufacture and distribution of fabric face coverings for all staff and offenders
  • Offender visits suspended
  • Most offender transfers among facilities suspended
  • Enhanced offender screening on intake
  • Screening of all staff and others entering any facility or other corrections property, with temperature checks
  • Testing available at every prison
  • Isolation cells, wings and units identified for use, if needed, at every prison
  • Isolation of offenders showing signs of communicable diseases

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