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COVID-19 in Correctional and Detention Facilities - United States, February-April 2020

OPEN MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report | 15 May 2020

M Wallace, L Hagan, KG Curran, SP Williams, S Handanagic, A Bjork, SL Davidson, RT Lawrence, J McLaughlin, M Butterfield, AE James, N Patil, K Lucas, J Hutchinson, L Sosa, A Jara, P Griffin, S Simonson, CM Brown, S Smoyer, M Weinberg, B Pattee, M Howell, M Donahue, S Hesham, E Shelley, G Philips, D Selvage, EM Staley, A Lee, M Mannell, O McCotter, R Villalobos, L Bell, A Diedhiou, D Ortbahn, JL Clayton, K Sanders, H Cranford, B Barbeau, KG McCombs, C Holsinger, NA Kwit, JC Pringle, S Kariko, L Strick, M Allord, C Tillman, A Morrison, D Rowe and M Marlow
Abstract
An estimated 2.1 million U.S. adults are housed within approximately 5,000 correctional and detention facilities† on any given day (1). Many facilities face significant challenges in controlling the spread of highly infectious pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Such challenges include crowded dormitories, shared lavatories, limited medical and isolation resources, daily entry and exit of staff members and visitors, continual introduction of newly incarcerated or detained persons, and transport of incarcerated or detained persons in multiperson vehicles for court-related, medical, or security reasons (2,3). During April 22-28, 2020, aggregate data on COVID-19 cases were reported to CDC by 37 of 54 state and territorial health department jurisdictions. Thirty-two (86%) jurisdictions reported at least one laboratory-confirmed case from a total of 420 correctional and detention facilities. Among these facilities, COVID-19 was diagnosed in 4,893 incarcerated or detained persons and 2,778 facility staff members, resulting in 88 deaths in incarcerated or detained persons and 15 deaths among staff members. Prompt identification of COVID-19 cases and consistent application of prevention measures, such as symptom screening and quarantine, are critical to protecting incarcerated and detained persons and staff members.
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