Middlesex House of Correction Inmate Tests Positive For COVID-19

BILLERICA The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office today, March 27, announced a sentenced individual currently being held at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction has tested positive for COVID-19.

Results of a test administered by medical staff on Thursday were returned from an outside lab early this morning, March 27.

The individual was placed in medical isolation and housed in a single room in the facility’s health services unit (HSU) after developing a fever yesterday.

The individual’s roommate, who has not displayed any symptoms, was also moved to the HSU and placed in medical quarantine as a precaution on Thursday and was tested this morning. Results of that test are pending.

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has now activated its pre-established response plan. That plan – developed in consultation with inside medical staff, outside medical professionals and an external infectious disease
specialist – involves several steps including:

• Keeping the individual medically isolated in the health services unit (HSU)

• Limiting movement in-and-out of the unit in which the individual was previously residing to only those presently living in the unit and essential staff.

• Staff assigned to the unit in the last several days have been notified, told not to report to work until further notice and asked to speak with their medical providers.

• Officers working in the unit will utilize precautions including the donning of masks and gloves. Nurses working in the unit will also don gowns in addition to the masks and gloves.

• All incarcerated individuals in the unit will be provided masks. They will continue to have access to soap, water and showers.

* Mental health staff will increase its presence throughout the facility.

• Peer Support Team members and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will be available to staff.

The new steps announced today are in addition to previously announced efforts including:

• Consulting daily with an outside infectious disease specialist.
• Enhancing medical screening for new individuals entering the facility and implementing corresponding protocols to respond to cases of concern.
• Suspending in-person visits for family and friends.
• Offering four free phone calls of up to 20 minutes each for incarcerated individuals every week.
• Transitioning attorney visits from contact to non-contact.
• Expanding its use of video and telephone conferences to ensure court dates move forward for already incarcerated individuals.
• Designated our Family Resource and Outreach Coordinator Lili Bonilla as the central point of contact for families. Lili can be reached at 978-932-3517 or by emailing lbonilla@sdm.state.ma.us.

Individuals or families with urgent concerns outside of normal business hours should contact 978- 667-1711 ext. 0.

“The health and safety of all those held at, working at and visiting the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction are our top priorities,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “Each and every step we have taken to date and will take moving forward are aimed at meeting those priorities.”

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