COVID-19 testing of inmates, employees underway at Charleston prison

Thursday, April 23, 2020

CHARLESTON, Mo. — COVID-19 testing of several inmates and employees is underway at the prison in Charleston.

Mississippi County Health Department Administrator Rachelle Johnson announced the testing plan at Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston via the health department’s official Facebook page in a post late Wednesday.

“I wanted to share with you that Department of Health and Senior Services in partnership with Department of Corrections have tested 68 inmates and 32-plus employees Wednesday due to the positive test results in a specific wing within the Southeast Correctional Center,” Johnson said in the post. “These tests are being sent to the State Public Health Lab in Jefferson City. In conversation with Department of Corrections, all tests may not be completed until tomorrow (Thursday) due to trying to get all shifts of that wing done.”

Per Dr. Randall Williams, these test results should be done within 24 hours, Johnson said.

“The Mississippi County Health Department will report information on positives from the Southeast Correctional Center once we are made aware of those results,” Johnson said.

As of Wednesday, the Missouri Department of Corrections said so far, there have been three prison staff and three inmates at the Charleston prison who’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

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