70 OCCC Inmates Test Positive for COVID-19
Seventy additional inmates at O‘ahu Community Correctional Center as well as seven adult corrections officers (ACOs) have tested positive for COVID-19, officials confirmed this morning.
The total number of infections among inmates is now 86 and 18 among ACOs, Hawai‘i Public Safety Department reported. There are no reported COVID-19 cases in other correctional facilities throughout the state at this time.
Due to the growing cluster, PSD coordinated with Hawai‘i Department of Health to conduct mass testing of all OCCC inmates in each of the 19 individual housing units at the facility. As a result, approximately 110 inmates were tested Tuesday with 70 positive and 40 negative.
Results for 63 inmates, also tested Tuesday, are pending. As of Aug. 3, the prisoner population at OCCC was 938. Officials say all remaining inmates will be tested in the coming days.
“As the mass testing continues, we expect to see more positive cases. We appreciate how fast the DOH and National Guard are moving to coordinate the testing of identified staff and inmates. OCCC staff have done an amazing job following the PSD Pandemic Plan to quickly identify and quarantine these individuals. We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to mitigate the spread of this virus,” says Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda.
The previous inmate testing numbers reported were tests conducted by facility health care staff, for symptom and/or in relation to possible contact with confirmed positive individuals.
As previously announced, OCCC is contracting with a professional cleaning/sanitation company to deep-clean quarantine housing and intake areas at the facility. In the meantime, OCCC operations staff and work lines are increasing cleaning of all housing and intake areas.
All transports to court from all O‘ahu facilities will be suspended through Friday. Video hearings will still be accommodated to the extent possible and as legally permissible. PSD is in constant contact with the Hawaii State Judiciary to assure the safety of all staff and inmates involved.
PSD will continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and make additional operational and preventative decisions as the situation evolves.