Corrections officer in SC tests positive for coronavirus


COLUMBIA, SC – A correctional officer at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia received a positive test result for the COVID-19 virus.

This is the first SCDC employee who has tested positive.

The test result was received on Friday. The officer was last at work on March 17 and has been in self-isolation for 10 days. He will not return to work until a full recovery is documented, according to the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

The officer worked in a special-population housing unit with 16 inmates. All inmates were in single cells and are asymptomatic, SCDC reported. The inmates are being quarantined and monitored in single cells for the next four days, which will complete the 14-day monitoring period.

A contact investigation is being conducted with guidance from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to determine whether staff members or other inmates were in close contact with this officer.

No inmates are positive for COVID-19. The SCDC said this officer did exactly what SCDC is asking all staff to do: stay home if they are sick and get tested if it’s recommended by their health care professional.

Throughout SCDC, only essential personnel are allowed entrance to institutions. Everyone who enters or leaves an institution has their temperature taken and is screened for symptoms.

Offenders have soap and sanitizers to clean their rooms and living areas. They are continuing to have recreation time and education, according to the SCDC.

SCDC is grateful to DHEC for its advice and collaboration with SCDC’s healthcare professionals in this case and throughout the COVID-19 health emergency.

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