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Georgia Department of Corrections Coronavirus (COVID - 19) - Update

Commissioner: 
Timothy C. Ward
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Joan Heath
Contact Email: 
Joan.Heath@gdc.ga.gov
Date: 
March 30, 2020
STATE OF GEORGIA

Georgia Department of Corrections Coronavirus (COVID - 19) - Update

Daily Status Dashboard Launched

FORSYTH, Ga. - The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) announced today, the development and launch of a COVID-19 “dashboard” in an effort to ensure timely and accurate reporting of positive cases among GDC staff and the offender population.  Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this dashboard will be updated daily at 6:00 p.m., based on the most recent data available from the GDC’s Office of Health Services.  A link to the dashboard is provided via this link http://www.gdc.ga.gov/content/cases.

As of March 30, the GDC has eleven reported positive COVID-19 cases and one death in the offender population, and eleven reported positive COVID-19 cases among staff.

Guidance is received from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) with regard to which offenders are to be tested for COVID-19. If an offender exhibits symptoms indicative of COVID-19, the GDC will immediately engage with the DPH and the offender will be placed in medical isolation, pending DPH testing.

If a staff member presents with any symptoms of illness, they will be instructed not to report to work and contact their health care provider. These staff will not be permitted to return to work until they have been cleared by a medical professional, or as indicated by DPH quarantine protocols.

The GDC continues to monitor all staff entering GDC facilities utilizing touchless temperature screening prior to entering the facility, as well as questionnaire-based screening and attestation documents. Additionally, educational materials are provided to both staff and offenders, to include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand washing and symptoms posters.  Materials have been downloaded onto offender GOAL Devices to ensure adequate access to these materials.

Facility sanitation enhancements have been implemented, including increased chemical orders statewide; increased availability of hand sanitizer and soap for staff at all GDC locations; increased availability of soap over and above normal issue for offender population; increased sanitation rounds and required cleaning of high traffic areas and high touch areas; and additional sanitation officers assigned at all facilities.

All available resources are being deployed in an effort to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 within GDC facilities, and we remain committed to the health and welfare of all staff and offenders, while maintaining our non-negotiable mission of public safety.

For a complete listing of GDC’s overall plan and response related to COVID-19, as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions for Family and Friends, please visit:  http://gdc.ga.gov/content/faq2.

 

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About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 54,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit http://www.gdc.ga.gov


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