Graham Kilmer

House of Correction Has Confirmed COVID-19 Case

One inmate has confirmed case, several others showing symptoms. Nurse that works at jail also tests positive.

By - Apr 3rd, 2020 06:28 pm
House of Correction sign.

House of Correction sign.

Milwaukee County’s corrections facilities are beginning to see confirmed cases of COVID-19 in their incarcerated population as well as as staff.

It was announced Friday that the House of Correction (HOC) in Franklin has a person in custody with a confirmed case of COVID-19. That same day, the Milwaukee County Sheriff‘s office announced that a nurse contracted to work in the downtown jail had tested positive for COVID-19.

Sheriff Earnell Lucas released a statement saying the nurse last worked in the jail on March 31, during which time she was wearing personal protective equipment. Lucas said the nurse reported symptoms on April 2.

Lucas said no member of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office and no one in the custody of the sheriff’s office has tested positive for COVID-19.

Healthcare at both the jail and HOC is carried out by Wellpath LLC. a private company that contracts with Milwaukee County for inmate medical services. They took over medical services in county corrections facilities in April 2019.

In a statement, County Executive Chris Abele said that the House of Corrections individual was moved to segregation to be quarantined once they began to show symptoms. Medical staff at the facility say the individual is in a stable condition and, at this time, does not need health care beyond what the house of corrections can provide.

There are several other inmates showing COVID-19 symptoms, Abele said. They too are in quarantine, but Abele’s statement did not indicate whether they have been tested for the illness. Nor does his release say how long the individual with the confirmed case has been in the HOC.

The virus that causes COVID-19 has an incubation period that is up to 14 days.

Urban Milwaukee was informed that HOC Superintendent Michael Hafemann is the only person authorized to speak about COVID-19 at the HOC. Urban Milwaukee sent Hafemann an email asking how long the confirmed case had been in custody and whether it was possible they caught the virus within the corrections facility. He has not responded.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday afternoon that Hafemann “has not returned calls or emails about conditions at the Franklin complex left over the past two weeks.”

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Categories: Health, MKE County

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