MCF-Moose Lake COVID-19 Response
(Reviewed June 2, 2020)
Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell has directed each of the state’s prisons to implement “Stay with Unit” plans to provide living unit separation, and to minimize the potential for COVID-19 spread. “Stay with Unit” ensures incarcerated individuals participate in facility activities, including any programming, yard time, and dining, only with others in their living unit. By providing living unit separation, better social distancing becomes possible and we minimize the potential for widespread outbreaks across entire facilities.
The following additional measures have been taken to protect those within the Moose Lake facility. This list is not necessarily exhaustive of all measures in place.
Masks: Requirement of N95 Mask has been removed and replaced with the requirement of Barrier Masks to be worn while in the facility. All inmates have received cloth barrier masks, which are also required to be worn.
Co-Pays: We have waived all medical co-pays for the duration of the Governor’s declared emergency to ensure no one is discouraged from seeking care.
Protecting Staff and their Families: MCF-Moose Lake has implemented a number of measures to protect staff and their families. Similar to staff at health care facilities, DOC staff have been provided guidance for steps to take to protect their families while they continue to come to work. Information has been distributed and is on posters at the facility for washing hands when they leave work, designating a door of their home just for them to enter and exit, changing clothes and showering when they get home, and avoiding sharing food, among other steps.
Hand washing stations: MCF-Moose Lake installed hand washing stations in the facility. Four handwashing sinks were installed in the lobby entrance to the facility and other hand washing stations were installed in three high traffic areas in the facility. All individuals are required to wash their hands when entering and exiting the facility. Two additional handwashing stations for the inmate population were placed in the facility’s main hallways, along with 57 additional hand sanitizer receptacles installed throughout the facility. Inmate restrooms and kitchenettes also have sinks to wash hands. All individuals (staff and inmates) are encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day.
Screening: All staff are screened on a daily basis, including temperature testing, and need a physician’s approval to work if they answer yes to one of the screening questions. All staff are provided with protective masks and are strongly encouraged to wear them.
Isolation Plans: MCF-Moose Lake has an isolation plan in place. Details include those inmates displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and/or testing positive are being placed in an isolation area. While on isolation, inmates have access to phones, mail, JPay tablets, canteen, linen, and medication/pill window, legal calls, showers, library, religious material, and other personal items.
Phones: MCF-Moose Lake inmates now receive two free five-minute phone calls per week in addition to the standard calls they could already purchase. Phone banks are sanitized with germicidal by living unit workers. The number of times is dependent upon who the use is from, non-quarantine inmates and those quarantined. Sanitization with Germ Guard Disinfectant is required after use of those on quarantine status. The areas are sanitized multiple times a day. In addition, shields have been installed between each phone station.
Video Visiting: Loved ones on the outside now receive one free 15-minute video visit per week. Additional video visits can also be purchased at a reduced rate, and hours have been expanded. Additional Kiosks have been activated. Video Kiosks are sanitized with Germicidal Chemical & Germ Guard Disinfectant Deodorant by living unit workers. The number of times is dependent upon who the use is from, non-quarantine inmates and those quarantined. Sanitization with Germ Guard Disinfectant is required after use of those on quarantine status. The video kiosk areas are sanitized multiple times a day.
Showers and Bathrooms: Inmates still have access to showers and bathroom facilities. Moose Lake inmates have access to showers and toilets in the living unit of which they live. This is true of all the living units with the exception of Unit 4 Segregation, which has toilets in each cell.
Recreation, Yard, and Courtyard Time: At Moose Lake, no contact sports are allowed, and any shared equipment is off limits. Social distancing is monitored by security staff.
Food Services: Meals are provided in the living units. They may eat in their cells if desired.
Work: At Moose Lake, inmates who work in Food Service are preparing the meals and preparing the trays for distribution to living units. They are also cleaning the kitchen/dining room after the meals are complete. MINNCOR inmates are also making the cloth barrier mask that are being distributed throughout the department. In addition, the print shop is creating material to be posted regarding safety.
Medication: Pill windows are not operating at Moose Lake, and instead health services staff are delivering medications directly to the living units several times daily.
Mail and Emails: Moose Lake inmates can still send and receive mail and emails as they normally would.
Canteen: Items purchased from the inmate store are still being delivered to the living units.
Education: Moose Lake is offering distance-learning. Staff in the education department provide the education material to the inmates. When the schoolwork is completed, education staff collect work from the inmates. Inmate tutors are employed in each living unit to help/assist inmates. Library services are taking place in each of the living units.
Treatment: Moose Lake’s treatment plans are providing distance-treatment opportunities at this time. Treatment work is being delivered on Mondays and collected on Fridays. The collected material will sit over the weekend, helping reduce the spread of the virus.
Television: Inmates still have access to televisions—both in their room and in the common areas, with the appropriate social distancing which is maintained by security staff and inmates.