The COVID-19 case toll continues to mount at the Danville Correctional Center.
The Illinois Department of Corrections reports that at least one-third of the approximate inmate population of 1,546 males has tested positive for the virus since a major outbreak began in late fall. And the numbers are still growing.
On Tuesday evening, IDOC listed 679 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates at the medium-security prison since the pandemic began in March, with 563 of those cases current and 116 have recovered.
The staff has also been hit hard by the virus, with 132 cases confirmed since March. Of those, 51 remain active cases and 81 have recovered.
The surging case numbers have been reflected in the Vermilion County Health Department’s recent daily reports. Last Saturday, health officials reported more than 500 new cases, which it attributed to the outbreak at a “congregate-living facility.” The stats listed those affected as having a wide range of ages.
In an effort to deal with the prison outbreak, IDOC states that it is taking “aggressive steps to protect staff and men and women in custody by implementing surveillance and outbreak mitigation testing strategies ...”
That mitigation effort began the week of Dec. 6 as the outbreak surged.
“When implemented at a facility, all staff will be routinely tested and the frequency of testing will be determined by the Office of Health Services based on the positivity rate of the county in which the facility is located,” according to IDOC. “When the Office of Health Services identifies an outbreak at a facility, all staff and individuals in custody at that facility will be tested approximately every three days until no new cases are identified for 14 days. At that time, the outbreak will be considered under control and staff will undergo COVID-19 testing in accordance with the facility surveillance testing protocol.”