Deerfield employee tests positive for COVID-19

Published 7:51 pm Thursday, April 9, 2020

CAPRON

One employee at the Deerfield Correctional Center in Capron has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections’ director of communications, Lisa E. Kinney.

Kinney had replied on Thursday morning to an emailed request for confirmation The Tidewater News had made after it learned on Wednesday evening of a letter sent out concerning the issue.

“Yes, there is one staff member at Deerfield Correctional Center with COVID-19,” Kinney stated via email. “We follow CDC (Center for Disease Control) and VDH (Virginia Department of Health) guidelines regarding the monitoring, quarantining or testing of staff and offenders with whom that employee may have come in contact.”

She directed the paper to its website, www.vadoc.virginia.gov, for the most recent updates, which includes every facility that has a virus case. The DOC also has an information line, 804-887-8484.

That site showed that as of Thursday afternoon, Deerfield is affected only by the aforementioned employee. Throughout the state’s 43 facilities — which includes three regions for probation and parole — there were 16 offenders on-site that have tested positive for COVID-19, and only five have been hospitalized. Including Deerfield, there are 21 DOC employees, including contractors, who have tested positive, and four of which work for probation and parole in the Eastern region.

On Friday afternoon, the number of affected offenders was 20, and the number of employees at 22. Deerfield was not listed that time, but was later put back in.

In response to other related questions, Kinney stated, “We only test offenders at the facilities, not employees. DOC employees, like all state employees, have testing done in coordination with their health care provider. Employees have to go through a verbal/written screening as well as have their temperatures taken each day before they can enter a DOC facility.

“Regarding both offenders and employees: VADOC medical staff follow CDC and VDH guidance regarding the monitoring, quarantining or testing of staff and offenders with whom the COVID positive staff or offender may have come in contact.”

[Editor’s note: This version is an update from the first posting.]