The Mississippi Department of Corrections reports four inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and a total of 20 inmates have been tested.
The inmate who died and was later confirmed to have had COVID-19 was housed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP) at Parchman. Whether the deceased inmate died from COVID-19 has not been determined. The MDOC is not confirming the name of that inmate.
Of the other three COVID-19 positive inmates, the other one is at MSP and the other two are housed at a regional facility.
“The MDOC is working diligently to keep inmates and staff safe,” Interim Commissioner Tommy Taylor said. “Inmates who were in close proximity to any inmate testing positive are being quarantined and are receiving enhanced screening and protection, including being issued masks. We are requiring all staff to wear masks and gloves. We have several sources from which to acquire masks.”
Inmates under quarantine are being monitored daily for symptoms of the coronavirus. Employees arriving at work also are being screened daily.
The department is extending its restrictions on who comes into the facilities.
“For the next 30 days, we will continue to limit visitors, other than attorneys, suspend all county jail transfers, and limit transfer of inmates between MDOC facilities and intra-facility movement,” Taylor said. “We are actively engaged in preventing inmates’ potential exposure and preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the inmate population.”