STERLING, Colo. — The Department of Corrections has been notified that two inmates at the Sterling Correctional Facility (SCF) have tested positive for COVID-19.
The inmates were housed in the same unit and have been, and will continue to be, screened and quarantined. The individuals will also continue to receive appropriate medical care.
The CDOC medical and risk management teams, in coordination with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, are currently conducting a detailed contact tracing investigation. Staff who are found to have close contact with the COVID-19 positive inmates will be placed on leave, and inmates who are found to have come in close contact with the COVID-19 positive inmates will be screened twice daily including having their temperature taken, and quarantined.
“As a Department we have been preparing to respond to this exact type situation,” said Department of Corrections Executive Director, Dean Williams. “We are continuing to use every tool at our disposal to keep it out of the prisons when and where we can, closely contain the virus when it does manage to get behind the walls, and to increase our margins and social distancing within the prison through appropriate and safe prison population reduction. The health and safety of our staff and inmates is our top priority.”
Effective immediately, SCF will move to a Phase III modified operations. These modifications will mean that all meals and medications will be delivered to living units, and inmates will remain in their cells during the quarantine period. The inmates will have access to their normal personal property during the quarantine period.
Colorado Correctional Industries (CCi) has created cloth masks for CDOC staff, and staff are currently required to wear face coverings while on shift inside the facilities. CCi has also been producing cloth masks for inmates, which are being distributed to inmates as the supply is created. SCF has already received masks to distribute to the inmate population. These masks will provide a physical barrier to droplets, and are the same masks CCi has created for staff.
The CDOC medical staff will be working directly with SCF staff to provide direction and support, and the facility will be taking every precaution to prevent exposure and follow appropriate cleaning and disinfecting practices.