14 people test positive for COVID-19 at Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre

Twelve inmates and two staff members at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre have tested positive for coronavirus.

It said that these cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

As per public health guidelines, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said that the persons who tested positive will be placed in isolation and that contact tracing will be done.

In a statement, Matthew Samuda, Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, said: “This development in the institution has occurred despite our rollout of protocols established by international bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other benchmark corrective organisations versed in the management of outbreaks within correctional institution. These infection prevention and control protocols have been in effect across the department for well over six months.”

He continued: “The department has been consultative in its approach to controlling the cases in the institutions, collaborating with the health ministry and public health departments to conduct testing programmes in centres once any positive cases are detected. We recently met with the public defender as well to ventilate existing measures at the facilities and seek counsel on what other measures she considered would aid us in our management of the pandemic.”

Samuda also said that the DCS would be revisiting its tracking measures given the situation and release results of the COVID-19 tests immediately rather than by its twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Thursdays) modality on the dashboard on its website.