COVID-19 Testing in MN Prisons
The DOC is following the Minnesota Department of Health testing guidelines for monitoring, isolation/quarantine, and testing of the people incarcerated in our facilities. However, we are not waiting for positive test results to take appropriate precautions. If an incarcerated person exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we follow MDH guidance for how our health care and other staff use PPE and interact with those individuals, how to isolate and quarantine them, and how to protect the health of everyone involved.
As of May 22, 2020, we have begun a process of testing all inmates for COVID-19, beginning with MCF-Stillwater. Those tests and their results are included in the chart below. Plans are underway for comprehensive testing of facility staff as well.
We are also tracking, to the best of our ability, positive tests among staff members. Like all Minnesotans, staff members go to their personal health care providers when they get sick. Our numbers for staff are based on self reports. Therefore, the information might not be complete.
Second Death of COVID-19 Positive Man Incarcerated at MCF-Faribault Reported by Minnesota Department of Corrections - June 27
Death of COVID-19 Positive Man Incarcerated at MCF-Faribault Reported by Minnesota Department of Corrections - June 25
Facility-by-Facility Measures to Combat COVID-19
Each facility has implemented detailed plans, in collaboration with the Department of Health, around CDC protocols for the prevention and management of COVID-19 infection within correctional institutions. Each facility has implemented a number of measures to minimize the impact of COVID-19 in Minnesota’s correctional facilities. Click on each facility below to learn more.
Oak Park Heights
COVID-19 and Visiting
We have been working with the Minnesota Dept. of Health on ways to open visiting back up in our correctional facilities. In-person visiting reopened at some DOC facilities the week of July 22. For specific information regarding new in-person visiting procedures, visit: https://mn.gov/doc/family-visitor/visiting-information/
We are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) developments.
While many COVID-19 cases seem to be mild to moderate with symptoms similar to colds and flu, some cases may be more severe. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider before going into the clinic. Share with them your symptoms as well as any travel history or other information about potential COVID-19 exposure.
Personal Planning and Preparation
Link to MN Department of Health: Strategies to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota
For up-to-date information, visit the websites of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . The best guidance for avoiding COVID-19 is to take the same precautions you take for avoiding colds and flu:
1. Stay home when sick.
2. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
3. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand. Throw the tissue away when you are done.
4. Stay informed. Visit the MDH and CDC websites often.
Minnesota Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute of Corrections