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Mass COVID-19 Testing Comes to Kulani Correctional Facility

September 22, 2020, 11:30 AM HST
* Updated September 22, 10:34 AM
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Mass COVID-19 testing will continue at Kulani Correctional Facility (KCF) in Hilo as well as Halawa Correctional Facility (HCF) on O‘ahu.

The Public Safety Department (PSD) confirmed last week it would extend mass testing for the virus to inmates and staff in jails and prisons statewide. The decision comes after an outbreak in O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) left several prisoners and staff infected with the coronavirus.

That outbreak is now contained, PSD officials report.

PC: Public Safety Department

Waiawa Correctional Facility (WCF) on O‘ahu was the first to undergo mass testing and as previously reported, all 229 inmate tests at WCF were negative. Of the 98 staff results were received, 97 were negative and one was positive.

“The broad-based testing was expertly coordinated and executed by the WCF security staff, and the PSD Health Care Division last week. Halawa and Kulani were ready to go next and I am confident both facilities will follow through, if needed, with their pandemic plan to isolate, quarantine and cohort inmates,” said Maria Cook, Deputy Director for Administration/Acting Director. “All credit goes to the facility wardens, nursing, mental health, and security teams who did all the planning and are administering the testing program in their facilities.”

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The order of the facilities next in line for testing is still being worked out. The test results are anticipated to take up to three days to receive. PSD is also working with Hawai‘i Department of Health and the Hawai‘i National Guard to coordinate the testing of correctional officers and staff.

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A recently-admitted inmate at Hawaii Community Correctional Center has also tested positive for COVID-19.

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