DANVILLE — One Danville Correctional Center inmate has died due to the coronavirus disease amid the outbreak at the prison, according to Illinois Department of Corrections officials.

The male inmate in his 40s died Dec. 26, 2020.

Numbers of COVID-19 cases at the prison hadn’t yet been updated Monday afternoon, since before the New Year’s Day holiday.

Those numbers: 728 COVID-19 cases among the 1,540 inmates, 610 of which are active and 118 recovered.

There have been 134 cases among staff members reported since March. Of those, 48 remain active cases and 86 have recovered.

In a statement from IDOC Public Information Officer Lindsey Hess, “Danville Correctional Center implemented a medical quarantine plan beginning Oct. 17, 2020. This plan was developed through consultation with the department’s offices of health services and in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Public Health. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the number of incarcerated individuals permitted out of their cell at one time has been reduced. However, men in custody at Danville are still provided the time to make phone calls to their loved ones, as well as engage in video visits. Other privileges typically accessed throughout the facility are delivered at the housing unit. The department developed a Normalcy Committee that meets regularly to review out-of-cell opportunities for all incarcerated men and women.”

“All staff and men incarcerated at Danville are being 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. All incarcerated men and women who present COVID-19 symptoms, or who are asymptomatic and have had a possible exposure, continue to be tested,” according to the IDOC.

“The department has consistently, pursuant to Illinois statute, reviewed its population for eligibility to be granted 180 days or less of sentencing credit or placement on electronic detention. Since the beginning of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the department has prioritized these eligibility reviews in an effort to increase the availability of space for quarantining or isolating the offender population in accordance with CDC guidelines and limit the number of men and women who may be exposed, but always with a view to ensure public safety. In addition, the department has granted furloughs to certain individuals housed at the Adult Transition Centers, where offenders work in the community during the day but return to custody at night, and also has placed a few individuals on medical furlough.”

“IDOC staff continue to persevere during these uncertain, challenging times. The department is providing ongoing education addressing the threat of COVID-19 and procedures for mitigating infection spread at work and in the community. Each facility has a designated safety officer who works to ensure all staff are wearing PPE appropriately and practicing social distancing.”

BACKGROUND:

• IDOC is utilizing FEMA’s National Incident Command system model to set and achieve objectives each day.

• With the work of the IDOC’s Population Management Task Force, IDOC’s offender population has dropped 19 percent since March 1, 2020, including several from Danville.

• Hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap and cleaning supplies are being made available to all staff and incarcerated individuals. The IDOC closely monitors the supply levels at each facility and is in communication with vendors to maintain adequate inventory.

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