INDIANAPOLIS -- The medium-security Westville Correctional Facility in northwestern Indiana's LaPorte County is one of the state's largest, with a listed inmate population of 3,200, and it has a significant COVID-19 problem.
New figures from the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) show one inmate has died from the coronavirus, 113 have tested positive, and a staggering 1,498 have been quarantined because of possible exposure to the virus. Among Westville staff, there have been 24 positive COVID-19 cases. The inmate who died was a man in his 70's.
The Chicago Tribune reported this week that 92% of inmates tested for COVID-19 at Westville came back positive.
For the entire IDOC system, both adults and juveniles, men and women, 246 offenders and 116 staff members have tested positive. 2,619 inmates have been quarantined and three have died.
Closer to Indianapolis, the medium-security Plainfield Correctional Facility, reports two inmates deaths, both men in their 60's. 62 of 1,650 offenders have tested positive, and 21 staff members have positive test results.
Another trouble spot is also in Plainfield. The Heritage Trail Correctional Facility has quarantined 476 offenders.
The IDOC has suspended in-person visitations at all facilities in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
On its website, the department also offers a glimpse into its COVID-19 strategy.
We are ensuring that the Indiana prisons and health care units have sufficient inventories of the supplies necessary to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including appropriate disinfection and medical treatment materials. All IDOC offenders have access to both hand sanitizer and clean running water with soap—the CDC’s recommended method to prevent spreading the virus.