BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A state Department of Corrections official confirmed Tuesday that a staffer at the Iowa State Penitentiary is at home recovering from COVID-19.
The staffer was tested independent of ISP protocols, according to DOC spokesperson Cord Overton.
Overton said the employee had been off work for more than a week before being tested for the coronavirus, and has remained at home recovering.
As of Monday, five inmates had been tested at the prison with no positive results confirmed, according the DOC website. The website does not list the numbers of staff tested, but only numbers of confirmed positives, and those listed as recovered.
On March 20, the department imposed a list of safety measures to prevent introduction of the virus into the state’s prison systems, as well as to prevent mitigation, including ramped up personal protective equipment supplies and usage training, screening all new inmates introduced to the system, special quarantines for symptomatic inmates, constant monitoring, and the introduction of “clean teams” that focus on sanitizing and virus protection.
The prison system also canceled all volunteer activities and visitations until further notice.
Across the state, 840 inmates have been tested with 21 confirmed positives. None of those confirmed cases are shown as recovered. Fifteen staff members around the state have been confirmed positive with four listed as recovered.