Topeka, KS (STL.News) Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) Secretary Jeff Zmuda announced Friday that one staff member at Hutchinson Correctional Facility (HCF) tested positive for COVID-19. This is the seventh KDOC facility with a confirmed case, with the first cases reported at Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF), Wichita Work Release Facility, Topeka Correctional Facility, Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, El Dorado Correctional Facility and Ellsworth Correctional Facility.
The staff member at HCF is a male over the age of 20. In order to protect the identity of the person, no other information will be released. Mandatory mask protocol for staff was implemented at HCF on July 3 and on July 6 for residents.
The KDOC has been in consultation with officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on next steps to address these circumstances. As a result of that consultation with KDHE, the following steps were implemented:
- The living unit where the staff member worked will quarantine in place for a minimum of 14 days
- Testing of the living unit will be conducted
- Contact tracing was conducted to determine who among our staff and residents have been in close contact with this individual
- KDOC will remain diligent in monitoring other staff and residents for symptoms
“We know that our battle with this virus is far from over as positive cases in our state are continuing to rise,” Zmuda said. “We know far more about COVID-19 today than we did three months ago so we are very hopeful that the risk to any others is low. We will continue to diligently monitor those within our care for symptoms.”
The Hutchinson Correctional Facility is Kansas’ second-oldest prison and houses 1,884 men. Formerly known as the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory, the facility has three buildings including the Central (all custody levels), East (low-medium custody) and South (minimum custody) units.