The Mississippi Department of Corrections is reporting that four total prisoners within its system have tested positive for COVID-19, including a Parchman inmate who passed away this past week and another now active case at the Sunflower County facility.
Twenty total inmates have been tested for COVID-19.
While it is undetermined whether the unnamed Parchman inmate died directly from the novel coronavirus, he was tested prior to his death, and the results came back positive after he died, MDOC said.
One inmate at Parchman is an active COVID-19 patient a Thursday release said, and the other two inmates are housed at a regional facility, the department said.
“The MDOC is working diligently to keep inmates and staff safe,” Interim Commissioner Tommy Taylor said. “Inmates who were in close proximity to any inmate testing positive are being quarantined and are receiving enhanced screening and protection, including being issued masks. We are requiring all staff to wear masks and gloves. We have several sources from which to acquire masks.”
MDOC said employees are now being screened as they arrive at facilities to work, and quarantined inmates are monitored for symptoms on a daily basis.
There are also further restrictions on who is allowed in MDOC’s facilities.
“For the next 30 days, we will continue to limit visitors, other than attorneys, suspend all county jail transfers, and limit transfer of inmates between MDOC facilities and intra-facility movement,” Taylor said. “We are actively engaged in preventing inmates’ potential exposure and preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the inmate population.”