Sixteen inmates at the Pike County Correctional Facility recently tested positive for Covid-19, according to Krista Gromalski, communications director for the Pike County Commissioners Office.
“None of these inmates have required hospitalization,” she said in an email.
She was responding to a question from the Courier following up on a complaint from a woman who said her husband has asthma and lives in a cell block with 68 Covid cases. The woman, who said she did not want to be identified out of concern for her husband’s welfare, said the prisoners were not offered Covid vaccines, and that the facility is both overcrowded and on lockdown. She said prisoners with Covid were being treated with vitamin C.
Gromalski said none of these claims are true.
“PCCF has been offering Covid-19 vaccinations to inmates since April 2021,” she said. “Approximately 80 inmates have chosen to receive the vaccine.”
The jail has a capacity of 375, but the current population is only 150, Gromalski said, disputing the overcrowding claim.
That also means 53 percent of current inmates have been vaccinated.
In addition, Gromalski said, all new employees must be vaccinated.
“All new hires at PCCF must be vaccinated or become vaccinated before beginning employment at the facility,” she said. All staff are required to wear masks at all times, she said.
And there’s a testing protocol in place.
“All inmates are tested for Covid-19 and quarantined for 14 days before they are moved in with the prison population,” said Gromalski. “They are also tested before leaving the facility for court proceedings or medical appointments, and upon return to the facility are quarantined for 15 days and tested again before moving into population.”
She said the facility is not on lockdown, although protocols to keep exposed prisoners apart are being observed. “The units for incoming inmates and those who had tested positive for Covid-19 are under quarantine,” Gromalski said.
Prime Care Medical, the contractor that takes care of prisoners’ health, is treating the patients with Covid, she said.