NE Dept. of Correctional Services staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 3:55 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 16:55:24-04

The director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) announced Saturday that a staff member employed at the state penitentiary has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been isolated at home for the past 10 days.

According to Director Frakes, this is the first confirmed case of coronavirus among any inmates or staff members in NDCS.

The case was reported to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

Staff members started wearing masks within all NDCS prison facilities on Friday.

“Based on community spread and the increased availability of testing, we’ve been preparing for the scenario in which staff members or inmates tested positive for COVID-19,” said Director Frakes. “Having staff members in protective masks will help reduce the transmission of the illness through airborne droplets.”

Additionally, staff members have been undergoing an entry screening process, which includes answering a series of questions to examine their potential exposure to COVID-19.

Director Frakes said the agency is awaiting a shipment of thermometers that will be used to detect fevers in staff members who arrive for work.

“The agency placed an initial order for thermometers several weeks ago which was stolen during delivery. It is expected that the second shipment will arrive soon,” noted Director Frakes.