Graham Kilmer

House of Correction Has 7 COVID-19 Cases

The first confirmed case was announced Friday. Six more inmates being tested.

By - Apr 8th, 2020 01:07 pm
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House of Correction sign.

House of Correction sign.

The Milwaukee County House of Correction (HOC) has four staff members and seven people that have tested positive for COVID-19 in their custody, 

Just five days ago the HOC announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19. At that time, County Executive Chris Abele released a statement saying there were several others in the facility showing symptoms.

Based on the timeline given by HOC superintendent Michael Hafemann, the individual who was the first confirmed case caught the virus while in the correction facility. Hafemann said the individual that first tested positive entered the Milwaukee County jail on February 18th and was transferred to the HOC six days later. The inmate became symptomatic and was tested at the end of March. The positive test came back March 30th. The timeline shows that the first individual to test positive was not the first with the disease in the facility. Individuals can be asymptomatic for up to 14 days, but can still spread the virus during that time.

Now, of the seven that have tested positive, five are in the quarantine dormitory, and two are at local hospitals because they required medical care that couldn’t be administered at the House of Correction. The HOC has 80 beds that can be used for quarantine space.

On top of the seven that have tested positive, the HOC has six inmates that are showing symptoms and have been tested. Those results are expected to come back over the next three days. In Abele’s statement announcing the first case, he said that individual was moved to quarantine upon becoming symptomatic.

The HOC also has 21 staff members that are self-quarantining at home, Hafemann said. This is for a variety of reasons, such as a family member testing positive, traveling out of state, having an underlying health condition putting them as risk or because they are experiencing symptoms.

The HOC has tripled their daily sanitizing regimens compared to before the pandemic, Hafemann said. And currently they have enough sanitation and personal hygiene supplies.

It was also announced last week that a nurse that worked in the Milwaukee County Jail tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas said the individual started showing symptoms on April 2 and had not been in the jail since March 31, and she wore personal protective equipment while she worked at the jail.

As of that announcement, Lucas said there were no staff or inmates at the Milwaukee County Jail that had tested positive for COVID-19.

Wellpath LLC, a private healthcare provider, is in charge of medical services at both the jail and the HOC.

In Milwaukee County, the latest data shows there are 1,416 confirmed cases of COVID-19. And 56 people have died because of complications from the disease.

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Categories: Health, MKE County

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