COVID-19 Management Updates

March 23, 2020

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, REHABILITATION AND REENTRY

COVID‐19 MANAGEMENT STRATEGY UPDATE

(Phoenix)— While the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry currently has no known confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, we continue to take proactive measures to protect our staff and inmates against any potential spread. All ADCRR staff and inmates continue to be evaluated daily for any flu or allergy-like symptoms at prison complex facilities. Six inmates have been tested for the virus and results are pending. Inmates who exhibit flu-like symptoms are being closely monitored and cared for appropriately in a separate area to reduce the risk of transmission.

ADCRR has implemented a number of measures to defend against the spread of COVID-19 virus in the complexes. Some of these include: suspending all visitations, stopping routine internal movement of inmates across all Arizona prisons, and requiring all employees entering Arizona prison complexes to undergo an infectious disease symptoms evaluation.

ADCRR is sending out work crews on a limited and as needed basis, and will continue to evaluate active inmate work crews, including temperature checks, as they return to the complex each day. Numbers and frequency of inmate work crews are being significantly reduced.

ADCRR continues to follow mandatory industry standards as set forth by the American Correctional Association. ADCRR also follows the National Commission on Correctional Health Care guidelines through our audit process.

Following guidelines consistent with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), ADCRR continues to communicate with staff and inmates about how they can reduce the risk of contracting the virus, including regular hand washing, sanitizing common surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes, and encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick.

For the latest ADCRR COVID-19 Management Strategy updates, please visit: https://corrections.az.gov


 

March 20, 2020

MEDIA ADVISORY

 

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, REHABILITATION AND REENTRY

COVID-19 UPDATE

 

(Phoenix)— While the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry currently has no known confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, we continue to take proactive measures to protect our staff and inmates against any potential spread. ADCRR continues to follow mandatory industry standards as set forth by the American Correctional Association. ADCRR also follows the National Commission on Correctional Health Care guidelines through our audit process.

 

All ADCRR staff and inmates continue to be evaluated daily for any flu or allergy-like symptoms at prison complex facilities.

 

Centurion, ADCRR’s healthcare vendor, is working closely with ADCRR leadership to address any inmates who have flu-like symptoms.

 

“Centurion is committed to providing high-quality care in accordance with best practices and professional standards to ensure the health of incarcerated individuals. In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Centurion follows the established guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and public health officials to protect the health of those living and working in prisons and jails,” said Wendy Orm, M.D., Centurion’s statewide medical director. “Centurion

maintains a strong partnership with the Departments of Corrections and local health departments to ensure our staff is prepared to quickly identify, isolate, and manage the risk of contagious illness in the correctional facilities that we serve. We understand that education, vigilant adherence to established policies, and proper personal hygiene practices are key to limiting the spread of infection in healthcare environments. Centurion has provided training on COVID-19 to our staff, and continues to update information and take additional precautions as necessary.”


 

March 18, 2020

MEDIA ADVISORY

 

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, REHABILITATION AND REENTRY

 

COVID‐19 Management Strategy Update

 

(PHOENIX) – The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) has taken and is taking the following immediate preemptive and precautionary actions as part of its ongoing COVID‐19 Management Strategy to protect the health and safety of its employees and the inmates in its care.

These are ADCRR’s latest proactive measures to defend against the potential spread of the COVID‐19 virus. They will not be the last.

 

While the threat of COVID‐19 is new, ADCRR has for decades developed and implemented plans to manage incidents of infectious disease in a correctional environment involving inmates who are often medically fragile. ADCRR’s robust infectious disease protocols are continuously tested with new inmate admissions involving tuberculosis or symptoms associated with the common flu, scabies, chicken pox, or other droplet or airborne spread infectious disease. ADCRR is one of the only non‐hospital settings with negative pressure rooms to treat and isolate those with airborne infectious diseases.

 

“The health and safety of our staff and inmates at the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry is our paramount concern,” said David Shinn, Director of ADCRR. “In managing this situation, our two top priorities are safety and public health as we work to mitigate the potential spread of COVID‐19 within our prisons.”

 

ADCRR has implemented and is implementing the following measures to defend against the spread of the COVID‐19 virus:

 

  • While ADCRR currently has no confirmed cases of the COVID‐19 virus, Director David Shinn has taken proactive measures to protect the public safety and well‐being of all ADCRR employees and inmates by suspending contact and non‐contact legal and non‐legal visitation of inmates throughout the prison system.

 

  • Effective immediately, a $4‐copay that inmates pay for health care services is being waived for those who are experiencing flu or cold‐like symptoms.

 

  • Until such time as the COVID‐19 Emergency Declaration has expired, ADCRR will provide free hand soap to all inmates upon request, effective immediately. As recommended by ADHS, frequent handwashing remains the preferred method of virus prevention.

 

  • Effective immediately, ADCRR has stopped all routine internal movement of inmates across all Arizona Prison Complexes. Specialty needs for inmate movements will be evaluated on a case‐ by‐case basis. External medical needs will continue based on provider availability.

 

  • Effective yesterday, all inmate classes provided by local community colleges are suspended.
  • Effective this week, Wardens at each Arizona prison complex are initiating a weekly deep cleaning of all facilities. Wardens are also taking part in regular ongoing meetings with ADCRR leadership to ensure robust availability of soap, paper towels, hygiene items, and cleaning agents for both inmates and staff.

 

  • Effective immediately, ADCRR is requiring all employees entering Arizona prison complexes to undergo an Infectious Disease Symptoms Check that includes a series of health questions. In partnership with ADCRR’s inmate healthcare vendor, Centurion, ADCRR staff will be checked for symptoms of COVID‐19 continuously as they enter each facility. Inmate work crews are already being screened as they depart and re‐enter all prison complex facilities.

 

  • On Monday, CenturyLink, ADCRR’s phone and internet provider, began offering inmates two 15‐ minute phone calls per week at no charge, in addition to the existing phone call and written letter privileges. Thus far, CenturyLink has reported that 6,339 free calls have been made on the system. ADCRR is grateful for CenturyLink’s recognition of this public health emergency and its generous response to lessen the burden on staff and inmates alike. ADCRR is exploring potential video visitation options so that inmates may remain in close contact with family members.

 

Following guidelines consistent with the Arizona Department of Health Services, ADCRR continues to communicate with staff and inmates about how they can reduce the risk of contracting the COVID‐19 virus, including washing hands, sanitizing surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes, and encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick. ADCRR also will continue to provide updates on additional COVID‐19 measures being taken to protect the safety and well‐being of its staff and the inmates. For the latest regarding ADCRR’s COVID‐19 management strategy, please also visit: https://corrections.az.gov/.


 

March 13, 2020


Arizona Department of Corrections, Reentry and Rehabilitation Announces New Actions To Mitigate COVID-19 Risk

 

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry announced today that visitation at all Arizona prison complexes will be suspended for 30 days, effective immediately, after which time the suspension will be re-evaluated. With additional cases of COVID-19 expected in Arizona, the Department is taking this action to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 within our prisons and its impact on staff and inmates, as well as to ensure the continued effective operation of the state correctional system in the service of public safety. This is a proactive step, and the Department currently does not have any confirmed cases within our community.

 

 

“My top priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our employees, inmates and those that visit our complexes,” said Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry Director David Shinn. “Following similar steps taken at the federal level, this action aims to mitigate the risk COVID-19 poses for our facilities. We will continue to coordinate closely with Arizona’s public health officials as this situation evolves and communicate measures taken to protect the health of our community members.”

 

 

The suspension of visitation includes non-contact visits and applies to facilities operated by the Department as well as third-party operated facilities. Our policies for phone calls and written letters remain in effect, and inmates will have access to two 15-minute phone calls per week free of charge during this period. We will continue to post updates about the Department’s response to COVID-19 on our website. For more information and the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Services at AZHealth.gov/COVID19.

 

 

In addition to this step, the Department continues to implement our existing Communicable Disease and Infection Control protocols. We are communicating with staff and inmates about how they can reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, including washing hands, sanitizing surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes and encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick.

 

 

The Department appreciates everyone’s understanding and cooperation to protect the health and safety of our staff, the inmates in our care and the communities we serve.

 

 

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