According to the Virginia Department of Corrections, 129 inmates and 10 staff members at Halifax Correctional Center Unit 23 have tested positive for COVID-19.
The prison located at 1200 Farm Road in South Boston housed 173 inmates, a November report indicated.
There are currently 670 active cases of COVID-19 in state correctional facilities. Ten of those individuals are hospitalized. There have been 7,996 total positive cases and 51 COVID-19 deaths in state correctional facilities.
There also are 344 active cases among correctional staff members in Virginia. There have been two deaths among staff members who had tested positive to the virus.
The website reports in addition to testing symptomatic offenders, the department is conducting point prevalence testing in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services and commercial labs.
“This involves testing asymptomatic offenders and enables us to monitor and treat positive cases sooner, rather than after symptoms develop. VDH has created guidelines around point prevalence testing,” the site explains.
Employees have a separate screening tool where they must assess their risk on a daily basis prior to reporting to work. Any person entering a state correctional facility is screened using a forehead thermometer.
Visitation has been suspended, but the inmates are still using off-site video visitation. JPay — the cellphone app and website that inmates family members use to put money on accounts and conduct video visitation — has worked with the department of corrections to provide each offender with two free Jpay stamps per week since the cancellation of visitation.