The first Department of Public Safety inmate and four employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the department has announced.
DPS in a news release today said that a new inmate housed at Oahu Community Correctional Center was tested for the virus Tuesday after the department learned that the inmate may have been exposed prior to entering the facility.
The inmate was brought into OCCC Monday and placed into placed in a mandatory 14-day intake quarantine — the procedure for all new inmates. The inmate was tested Tuesday.
“The facility acted quickly to implement the Department’s COVID-19 pandemic protocol for correctional facilities, in an effort to mitigate any potential spread of the virus,” said Nolan Espinda, public safety director, in a statement. “Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have been working closely with the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure all DOH and CDC guidelines are followed in our facilities, so we can maintain the health and welfare of our staff and the incarcerated population.”
Three adult correctional officers — one at the Halawa Correctional Facility and two at the Waiawa Correctional Facility — have reported positive results. DPS said the cases are unrelated but is doing contact tracing for them. All three positive tests were reported sometime during the last three days.
DPS later reported that an additional correctional officer from OCCC had tested positive for COVID-19.
DPS said that inmates are reminded to be proactive in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to report if they are not feeling well.