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Department of Corrections Provides Daily COVID-19 Information

03/28/2020

Harrisburg, PA – Beginning today, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) will share basic information and statistics about the status of COVID-19 in the state prison system by making it available on the DOC's website.

To date, no inmate has tested positive for novel coronavirus.

"I believe that it is vitally important to share some basic information to quell any rumors circulating out in the community," Sec. John Wetzel said. "As of today, there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases among our inmates."

Wetzel said that the DOC is fully compliant with CDC testing guidelines and that inmates have access to robust medical staff and operations at both the local and DOC Central Office levels, including a former chief of clinical services who specializes in public health returning to serve as a special advisor to DOC leaders.

"Every inmate who meets criteria for testing will be tested," Wetzel said. "Testing capacity is not an issue."

For overall numbers of cases in Pennsylvania, people should visit www.health.pa.gov.

The DOC's website will feature information on lockdowns and quarantines related to COVID-19 should they become necessary, video visitation statistics, and how the DOC is working to reduce the inmate population to better manage the virus if it becomes present in the state prison system.

Steps taken to reduce the population so far include:

  • Furloughing paroled individuals from centers to home plans
  • Working with the parole board to maximize parole releases
  • Reviewing parole detainers for individuals in county jails and state prisons
  • Expediting the release process for anyone with a pending approved home plan
  • Reviewing inmates within the state prison system who are beyond their minimum sentences

Find the latest information on the DOC's COVID-19 efforts here. 

Find the latest information on the coronavirus here.

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan McNaughton, smcnaughto@pa.gov; Maria Finn, mfinn@pa.gov

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