Correctional facilities go into lockdown due to COVID outbreaks
By The Star Staff
Faced with a rebound in COVID-19 cases in four correctional institutions, Correction and Rehabilitation Secretary Ana Escobar Pabón on Wednesday ordered a “lockdown” of all prisons from today until Nov. 30.
Social treatment centers are excluded from the lockdown.
The move means that family visits are suspended. Escobar Pabón also said departures of beautification brigades, transfers between institutions, activities inside and outside the institutions and the movement of inmates to work in other correctional institutions are canceled. She also established strict adherence to quarantine periods.
“It is important that the relatives of the inmates know that in the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation we have an epidemiologist assigned by the Department of Health and, along with correctional physician personnel, they work with various strategies to control the spread of the virus, including molecular tests and the isolation of infected inmates in the same module,” she said. “About 98% of the agency’s employees are vaccinated, some already have had third doses and the mass vaccination of inmates with third doses is being coordinated.”
The official said that as of Wednesday, 90 positive cases had been reported among inmates in the Zarzal de Río Grande Camp. She added that in the Sabana Hoyos 384 Annex in Arecibo, 44 inmates and four correctional officers tested positive for COVID-19.
In the West Detention Center in Mayagüez, Escobar Pabón said, 129 inmates and two correctional officers were reported infected, and she confirmed another nine positive cases of COVID-19 in the main Ponce facility.