MILFORD – Out of an abundance of caution, the Massachusetts Department of Correction beginning late yesterday, April 3, has strictly limited movement within all facilities to allow greater social distancing within all facilities.
Corrections staff at all facilities have been instructed to utilize personal protective equipment if they will be within 6 feet of another individual or in an area with inmates who have tested positive for the virus, said a spokesperson.
Inmates will receive meals and medication in their units and have opportunities to shower, clean their rooms, and use the telephone. Laundry, mail, and other required services will not be interrupted, said a press release from the department.
Attorney visits will not be impacted and will be permitted during this time.
MCI Framingham now has 2 staff members and one medical provider who has tested positive for COVID-19, said a spokesperson.
These changes announced late yesterday were already put in place at the Massachusetts Treatment Center and MCI-Shirley, where inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.
They are now in place at the remaining 14 facilities and will be re-evaluated after two weeks.
Elevated protocols are already in place at all 16 DOC facilities: alcohol-based hand sanitizer has been distributed and is available to all inmates and staff at all facilities, high-touch areas are frequently sanitized, and access to soap and running water remain fully accessible to all inmates and personnel. Screening areas have been implemented at DOC facilities, where all persons seeking to enter have their temperatures taken and are surveyed for risk factors. Staff, vendors, and others have been instructed not to enter if they feel ill or meet other criteria, said a press release.
DOC leadership and our contracted medical provider, Wellpath, are focused on reducing, to the greatest degree possible, the potential impact of this virus on our approximately 8,000 inmates.
Due to the unique aspects of each of our facilities and their respective populations, the DOC will continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and make additional operational and preventative decisions as the situation evolves, said a statement.
The Department remains focused on maintaining the safety and security of the inmate population, the staff, and the public above all else.