Six detainees at the Alexander A. Farrelly Criminal Justice Complex on St. Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 Monday evening, the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections announced Tuesday.
Corrections began testing detainees Monday night after one complained of mild, flu-like symptoms. Thus far, the positive COVID-19 tests have come only from detainees housed in the same unit. There are 76 inmates/detainees at the complex as of Tuesday.
Several hours after the six detainees tested positive for COVID-19 at CJC, the Virgin Islands Police Department arrested another person who was COVID-19 positive before being turned over to Correction’s custody. None of the seven detainees who are COVID-19 positive have required hospitalization. According to the bureau, all are being monitored closely by the complex nursing staff, under the supervision of Dr. Linda Callwood, BOC’s medical director.
Out of an abundance of caution, and pursuant to CDC guidelines, the BOC said it also has begun testing inmates in other housing units. All inmates/detainees tested in different housing units have so far been negative for COVID-19, the bureau said in Tuesday’s news release. All staff at the Criminal Justice Complex who have been tested have also tested negative for COVID-19 thus far, it said.
The BOC said it is working with the Department of Health to test all inmates and detainees weekly until CJC is declared COVID-19 free. BOC has an adequate number of physical protective equipment on hand for its staff and is collaborating with Health to supply enough test kits to conduct weekly testing of all inmates, detainees, and staff, the news release said.
CJC has been placed on lockdown, with continuous disinfectant and cleaning. Inmate movement has been restricted within the facility. All visits by vendors and all inmate transfers have been suspended until further notice. In-person visits, work details, and prisoner furloughs remain suspended, as they have been since the start of the pandemic. Court hearings held virtually remain unaffected. Attorneys may visit with prisoners via secure video conference by contacting the facility to schedule a video visit.
On July 30, the Bureau of Corrections ordered mandatory COVID-19 testing for all staff who have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine.