Dept. of Corrections confirms 2nd outbreak at Deerfield
The Virginia Department of Corrections, on Saturday, confirmed a second outbreak of COVID-19 has indeed occurred at the Deerfield Correctional Center near Capron in Southampton County.
According to a press release the department issued this afternoon, 489 offenders at the state prison have now tested positive for the virus, up from the 376 reported on Sept. 9. Of this new total, 385 remain incarcerated on-site.
Two COVID-positive Deerfield offenders died today, making a total of six fatalities among inmates since the pandemic began – and the most at any Virginia state prison. Both offenders were in the hospital at the time of their death.
Deerfield’s average daily population is around 925 offenders, meaning roughly 41% of its on-site inmate population has contracted the virus.
An additional 23 staff members are also infected, up from 18 reported Sept. 9.
“Deerfield Correctional Center houses a population of older,sicker inmates, and has an infirmary and an assisted living unit,” said Lisa E. Kinney, director of communications for the Department of Corrections. “Deerfield tested the entire offender population recently, and many offenders have been retested.”
“The point prevalence surveillance being done by the Virginia DOC enables the Department to monitor and treat positive cases sooner, rather than after symptoms develop, and to keep asymptomatic staff and offenders from spreading the virus,” Kinney added. “All Virginia DOC facilities are following the DOC’s pandemic sanitation plan, and offenders and staff are required to wear appropriate PPE [personal protective equipment] at all times, including medical-grade PPE, such as N-95 masks, when appropriate.”