MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) said it has begun the process of implementing expanded COVID-19 testing protocols to best protect the safety, security, and wellbeing of its staff and inmate populations.
The ADOC announced the ultimate goal to, over time, test every inmate across the correctional system for COVID-19.
Currently, inmates are tested for COVID-19 upon intake, when exhibiting signs or symptoms of the disease, and prior to community medical appointments and procedures.
Staff members are asked to self-report a positive test result and self-quarantine as directed by their healthcare providers.
The next phase of testing includes testing the most medically vulnerable inmate populations. That is supposed to start soon.
Additionally, ADOC will test all inmates prior to release at the end of their sentence and notification of positive results will be provided to the health department in the county in which they plan to live.
The Department is working to develop a comprehensive plan and timeline to implement its expanded COVID-19 testing protocols. This plan will include providing staff members with access to free testing on a yet-to-be determined schedule. The ADOC’s Office of Health Services (OHS) is working with community partners to develop both fixed and mobile testing sites and provide necessary logistical support.
ADOC said: “As it has been since the onset of this pandemic, the Department’s intent is to keep the public apprised, without compromising security, of our ongoing and evolving response to COVID-19 in our facilities.”
Seventy-two (72) COVID-19 cases among ADOC staff and contracted staff remain active. One hundred twenty-five (125) staff members who previously self-reported a positive test have been cleared by medical providers to return to work.
Ninety-nine (99) total cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among our inmate population, sixty-one (61) of which remain active.