MILFORD, Mass. (Mass.gov) – The Department of Correction has met its goal of conducting universal COVID-19 testing at all 16 DOC facilities, utilizing mobile test teams to ensure all inmates and civilly-committed persons could be tested for the virus.
As of Wednesday, 7,679 COVID-19 tests had been performed for DOC inmates, with more than 6,700 of those tests conducted by mobile teams comprised of personnel from DOC and its contracted medical provider, Wellpath, as well as the Department of Fire Services and Brewster Ambulance Service. There are currently 7,173 people in DOC custody; many inmates have been tested more than once.
While all facilities had received universal testing as of Monday, mobile testing will continue on a strategic basis and individual testing continues within all facilities on an ongoing basis per DPH guidelines, officials said. Any inmate who meets criteria for testing is tested, and any inmate requiring a hospital level of care is hospitalized. To date, a cumulative 390 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, for a positivity rate of 5.07%. Of that number, 339 have recovered and about 50 have an active diagnosis. A handful of test results are pending.
Of the 16 facilities operated by DOC, 11 have had three or fewer positive cases since testing began. Of those 11 facilities, seven have had zero cases.
Universal testing is one of many unprecedented steps DOC has taken as part of a commitment to protect the health and safety of its inmate population. Among other initiatives, facilities have implemented pre-entry screening areas, distributed isopropanol-based hand sanitizer, and limited visitors and transport to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. To learn more about these steps, click here.