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COVID infection surges in Alaska prisons | Coronavirus

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Goose Creek Orthodontic Center

According to local media outlets, the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Goose Creek Correction Center has grown to 204 prisoners infected with the highly contagious virus.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, Sara Gallagher, said prisoners who tested positive for COVID-19, or who showed symptoms, were quarantined by medical staff and monitored twice daily. However, at least one online account states that this is not the case.

“I talked to four clients in Goose today, one of whom is very ill. His 55-year-old Selmate,” said Rick Allen, assistant attorney for Alaska in Palmer, on Twitter Wednesday. (Selmate) is ill and can’t get out of bed for three days. This is a really scary situation. All four are detained before the trial because they can’t afford the bailout. “

Communication Director, Megan Edge ACLU AlaskaOn Twitter, “Goose Creek prisoners said they still have staff walking around without masks. Yes, I know this contradicts a statement from the DOC to the press. I’m in prison. This nightmare in a prison cell with a human living inside and a prison living in a prison. “

Edge also tweeted to Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anzink, and asked her.@annezinkmd What role does the state health department play in making medical decisions for more than 4,000 people in our prisons?What recommendations do you have to mitigate the spread of# COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears In our prison or prison? “

A tweet from Mr. Edge to Dr. Zink was sent at 4:01 pm and remains unanswered after 10 hours.

Anchorage correctional facility

Outbreaks of new COVID-19 within the Department of Corrections have also been reported at Anchorage Correctional Facilities, where at least 18 confirmed infections have occurred.

Tonight I received a message from an employee of the Ancollage Correctional Facility. They contacted after seeing a social media post about what was happening in Goose Creek. Concerned about retaliation, they didn’t want to be named. Here are a few of the things they had to share.

ACC employee: “We know that orthodontists have a consistent concern about not following the wearing of masks. Directors can’t be anywhere. They keep trying to force it, but these Ashat doesn’t keep them. Part of our job is to protect vulnerable people, and prison staff, in my opinion, bring Covid into the prison plains. “

Did the supervisor strive to combat non-mask compliance?

ACC employee: “Suppose you’ve received at least two correctional office emails in the last two weeks about the serious consequences of staff not starting to wear masks and giving prisoners only cloth masks. Staff have surgical masks. Given, for example, I had to use the same one for a week. Last week they ordered to wear goggles because mental health and medical care are also so close to the prisoner. “

Do you use the same mask for a week? Is it an N95 mask?

ACC employee: “Ha ha. No. It’s a regular surgical mask. N95 can only be used if you have a positive patient. I shouldn’t tell you this, but I don’t want to die, and now I I’m afraid the prisoners are about to die. I’ve been in prison for over 10 years. The situation here is really terrible and so many of our patients are vulnerable. Many of our prisoners are mentally Ill and silent. Prisoners get a cloth mask. “

I have written a lot about the fight between teachers and their school districts. Did you contact your union about your concerns?

ACC employee: “My union representative is waiting for me to allow her to go further, but I’m not afraid of the impact yet. Overall, our DOC is better than most of the 48 mainland US states. Is also good, but not always good. For example, some jobs consist of more than half the paperwork, but certain staff cannot work from home. If they were to reduce the staff in the building … such things were brought into the union many times and we continue to lose. “

He talked about things he didn’t necessarily want to announce at this point, but said he believed that employees respected ACC’s oversight and believed they were doing their best in front of the prison officers who worked primarily. Inside the facility, he removed the mask, saying, “The new ACC coach is a good egg. It’s true.”

So far, the Department of Corrections seems to be facing the unprecedented challenge of keeping employees masked. This may be the reason why the number of COVID-19 infections has skyrocketed in the facility over the past two weeks.

Contact tracers are overwhelmed by the ever-increasing number of COVID-19 cases, and Alaska DHSS cannot keep up with the increase in new cases seen throughout the state, so prisoners and their families are staffed by the Department of Corrections. You can only expect to mask it. Give up planning for this year’s holiday gathering.

Life is literally at stake.

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