March 27 2020

Sheriff Reports Two Inmates at Middlesex Jail & House of Correction Tested Positive for COVID-19

By: BNEWS

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO) said this weekend that two inmates currently being held at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction have tested positive for COVID-19 and that the sheriff’s department is taking precautions to limit the spread to others. 

 

The first inmate was tested on Thursday and the results came back on Friday. The second, who was the roommate of the first, was tested on Friday and though  he was not showing any symptoms did have a positive test result come back on Saturday. 

 

After receiving the results of the first test yesterday, the MSO announced several additional steps it was implementing based on its pre-established response plan determined by consultation with inside medical staff, outside medical professionals and an external infectious disease specialist.  The new steps included:

 

- Limiting movement in-and-out of the unit in which both men previously resided.

 

- Providing all individuals residing in the unit with masks.

 

- Officers assigned to the unit for the past several days were ordered not to report to work until further notice and asked to speak with their medical provider.

 

- Officers currently working in the unit will utilize precautions including the donning of masks and gloves.  Nurses working in the unit will also don gowns in addition to the masks and gloves.

 

“The steps announced Friday morning were made in consultation with both internal and external medical professionals including Dr. Alysse Wurcel, an infectious diseases specialist at Tufts Medical Center,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter. J. Koutoujian.  “We have been consulting with Dr. Wurcel and others since the end of February, implementing numerous critical steps in anticipation of COVID-19’s arrival here in the Commonwealth.”

 

The new steps are in addition to previously announced efforts including:

 

- Consulting daily with an outside infectious disease specialist.

 

- Enhancing medical screening for new individuals entering the facility and implementing corresponding protocols to respond to cases of concern.

 

- Suspending in-person visits for family and friends.

 

- Offering four free phone calls of up to 20 minutes each for incarcerated individuals every week.

 

- Transitioning attorney visits from contact to non-contact.

 

- Expanding its use of video and telephone conferences to ensure court dates move forward for already incarcerated individuals.

 

- Designated Family Resource and Outreach Coordinator Lili Bonilla as the central point of contact for families. Bonilla can be reached at 978-932-3517 or by emailing lbonilla@sdm.state.ma.us.  Individuals or families with urgent concerns outside of normal business hours should contact 978-667-1711 ext. 0.

 

“The health and safety of all those held at, working at and visiting the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction are our top priorities,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “Each and every step we have taken to date and will take moving forward are aimed at meeting those priorities.”


 

 

 
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