Correctional and Detention Facilities Guidance

News Update

Updated March 26, 2020 5:00 PM

Consejos para los Centros Correccionales y de Detención

What Steps Can We Take to Protect our Facility?

There are steps you can take right now that can help protect your facility. Information related to the disease and appropriate measures may change and organizations are recommended to check the KDHE COVID-19 webpage for additional or updated information. 

Initial Screening of Inmates:

Early identification and treatment of persons suspected or confirmed with COVID-19 is an important and effective means of preventing disease transmission.  When active person-to-person transmission is occurring in Kansas, newly arrived arrestees and inmates should not be housed with other inmates until they have been appropriately screened for COVID-19.  Screening within the correctional setting can help identify additional suspect COVID-19 patients while helping to promote staff health when dealing with populations. 

The following screening should take place upon booking or initial processing to the facility:

Case Reporting

All cases of novel infectious diseases, including COVID-19, are IMMEDIATELY reportable to the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline at 877-427-7317. This line is monitored 24/7. Law enforcement, corrections, and health staff may press Option 5 to report suspect COVID-19 persons for further evaluation. 

Periodic Screening of Inmates

Long-term inmates or detainees should be re-evaluated during medical rounds for clinical features and symptoms. Officers and staff should be trained and educated in evaluating for symptoms and promptly notifying medical staff or supervisors for further medical evaluation. 

Staff Screening

Staff could be the facility’s greatest risk for introduction of infection as they are the most in and out of the facility. Staff members may be exposed to individuals with suspected COVID-19 at the facility or while off-duty in the community. If exposed, considerations should be made for policy development to self-quarantine during infectious disease outbreaks. Maintaining a healthy workforce improves the work environment of the facility and reduces the opportunity for disease exposures to other staff and visitors. 

When there is person-to-person transmission of disease within the community, the following evaluation procedure should be used to screen:

Any individual reporting or with suggestive clinical features and exposure risks should be evaluated in collaboration with KDHE Infectious Disease Epidemiology staff at 877-427-7317 immediately. 

Visitor Screening

Visitors (including attorneys, family, friends, clergy etc.) could be a high risk for introduction of infection. Visitors may be exposed to individuals with suspected COVID-19 at the facility or in the community.  

When there is person-to-person transmission of disease within the community (currently only in Johnson County, Kansas), the following evaluation should take place of visitors:

Respiratory Isolation

Airborne precautions are currently recommended for any person who has influenza-like illness and screening criteria that would suggest possible exposure to COVID-19.  

Transfer to Medical Facility

If airborne isolation is not available in the facility, any detainee who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should be immediately isolated and transferred to a facility (consider identifying other jails or correctional facilities which may have airborne isolation capabilities in advance of need) or hospital in which the detainee can be placed in an airborne infection isolation room and evaluated promptly for COVID-19. 

Transfer Out of Facility for Non-Medical Reasons

Any inmate who is isolation or quarantine should not be transferred to another facility, court or work assignment. Only medically necessary transfers should be initiated with these inmates and under the guidance provided above for transfer to medical facility. If an inmate is bonded out or released due to sentence completion while under isolation or quarantine orders, the Sedgwick County Health Department must be notified immediately (prior to release if at all possible) for appropriate community continuation of isolation or quarantine.  Please call 316-660-5555. 

Online Resources:

Sedgwick County Health Department: https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

Kansas Department of Health and Environment: http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/index.htm