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MCF-Red Wing COVID-19 Response

(Updated April 29, 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 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 Red Wing facility. This list is not necessarily exhaustive of all measures in place.

Masks: Cloth barrier masks have been distributed to staff and incarcerated people at all DOC facilities. Each person has been given instructions for how to care for the mask, how to put it on, and how to take it off safely. The masks are required to be worn in the facility.

MFC-Red Wing Health Services staff have N95 masks, and there are a limited number of N95s for corrections officers to use when escorting symptomatic inmates to isolation, or when packing up the property of a symptomatic inmate. The DOC follows Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for when and how personal protective equipment is used.

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-Red Wing 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-Red Wing has installed new hand washing stations in the facility. One handwashing sink was placed outside the main entrance to the facility. One handwashing sink was placed in the lobby entrance of the facility. All individuals are required to wash their hands when entering and exiting the facility. Inmate and Resident restrooms and kitchenettes also have sinks to wash hands. All individuals (staff and inmates/residents) are encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day.

Screening All staff are have their temperature taken and are screened on a daily basis for recent symptoms. If they have been symptomatic, a physician’s approval is required to return to work. All staff are provided with protective masks and are required to wear them.

Isolation Plans: MCF-Red Wing has an isolation plan in place. Details include moving juvenile residents/adult inmates who need isolation out of their cottage/living unit away from other residents/inmates. Those in isolation receive full access to all of their personal property.

Phones: MCF-Red Wing adult inmates now receive two free five-minute phone calls per week in addition to the standard calls they could already purchase. Telephones are disinfected with after each use.

Video Visiting: Loved ones on the outside now receive one free 15-minute video call per week. Additional calls can also be purchased at a reduced rate, and hours have been expanded. In addition to the available J-Pay video visiting, Red Wing youth are being offered parental visits through other technology free of charge, which is being coordinated by case managers at the facility. The video visiting kiosks are disinfected after each use.

Showers and Bathrooms: Residents/adult inmates still have access to showers and bathroom facilities. Bathroom facilities are located in living units and are disinfected multiple times a day. Social distancing is maintained by reducing the number of residents/inmates who can be in the bathroom at any given time.

Recreation, Yard, and Courtyard Time: Red Wing adults have access to their yard area and recreation room, which are disinfected by those who use the equipment after each use. Social distancing is monitored by correctional officers. Red Wing juvenile residents are still receiving their leisure/recreation time as well as their required exercise. Social distancing is monitored by correctional officers and disinfecting of equipment is monitored by unit staff.

Food Services: All Red Wing adults and juveniles eat in their assigned living units. Adults are now eating in two shifts to accommodate social distancing. Juveniles are eating by their assigned groups to accommodate social distancing by only having eight residents eat at time.

Work: Red Wing adults continue to work in the kitchen, physical plant, grounds crew, and laundry. Juvenile workers continue to participate in the work program. Juvenile workers only work with other workers from their assigned cottage. Social distancing is maintained by ensuring individual work assignments are more than six feet apart.

Medication: Adults have access to their own medications. Controlled medication is monitored by officers in the adult living units. Officers pass medication to juvenile residents in the living units. Health Services staff individually distribute controlled substance medication to juveniles.

Mail and Emails: Inmates and residents can still send and receive mail and emails as they normally would.

Canteen: Items purchased from the store are still being delivered to the units.

Education: Juvenile residents continue to receive educational services Monday to Friday. Depending on their cottage assignments, residents attend school in the morning or afternoon. Social distancing is maintained by having residents in two groups. This allows for more space in classrooms and at tables. When they are not physically in the school, residents are utilizing distance learning technology with assigned teachers going to the cottage.

Treatment: Red Wing residents/adult inmates are still receiving and participating in their treatment programming with their assigned case managers. Each living unit has a mental health treatment provider assigned to provide services.

Television: Adult residents have access to their individual televisions, and there are also televisions in common areas. Furniture in the common areas has been moved to ensure social distancing. Juvenile residents do not have individual televisions, but there are televisions located in common areas in each living unit. Social distancing is maintained by spreading out chairs and rotating cottage groups.

Additional Social Distancing Measures: Staff meetings sizes have been adjusted to allow for proper social distancing. Larger size meetings were moved into bigger spaces to allow for proper social distancing. The use of technology has replaced the need for some in person meetings.

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