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MCF-Red Wing COVID-19 Response

(Reviewed February 22, 2022)


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: During certain times of the pandemic, such as an outbreak and/or highly contagious variant, we will at times place all facility staff in N95 masks. Staff are required to wear masks at all times inside the facility. All incarcerated people have been supplied surgical masks. Each person has been given an ample supply of masks and instructions on how to put it on, and how to take it off safely. Staff are required to wear masks in the facility and the incarcerated population are required to wear them when outside their cells. The DOC follows Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for when and how personal protective equipment is used.

Co-Pays: Medical co-pays have been reinstated for most situations: including routine medical, dental, eye and physical exams. Any individual reporting respiratory/cold/cough systems will NOT be charged a co-pay at this time. We had previously waived ALL medical co-pays for the duration of the Governor’s declared emergency.

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 hand washing stations in the front lobby and visiting room. All individuals are required to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the facility. Inmate and Resident restrooms and kitchenettes also have sinks to wash hands. All individuals (staff and minimum adults/residents) are encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day.

Screening All staff/residents/minimum adults have their temperature taken and are screened on a daily basis for recent symptoms. If staff have been symptomatic, a physician’s approval is required to return to work. Symptomatic residents/minimum adults will be assessed by Health Services. All staff/residents/inmates are provided with cloth barrier masks and are required to wear them.

Isolation Plans: MCF-Red Wing has an isolation plan in place. Details include moving juvenile residents/minimum adults  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 juveniles and adults 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

In-Person Visiting: All visits must be scheduled in advance. (Juveniles are currently only allowed visits from parents/guardians) For more information, please call the MCF-Red Wing Visiting Desk at 651-267-3653 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Saturday from 3:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.). You can also use the Online Scheduling Option: https://login.nowaitinside.com/#/booking/N2pi5XuBti38wGjJs5JXu88m (won't open in Internet Explorer, please use another browser). 

Showers and Bathrooms: Residents/incarcerated adults 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 people 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: Minimum adults 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.

MCF-Red Wing returned to full day school effective June 10, 2021 with precautions including mask wearing, social distancing, disinfecting of classroom spaces in between groups, etc.

Treatment: Red Wing residents/minimum adults 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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