Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service (HMCIPS is applying operational restrictions at both Northward and Fairbanks Prisons after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last night (15 September 2021).
The employee, who was tested at Northward Prison after reporting feeling unwell during shift, is now isolating. The Prison Service had this week engaged the Public Health Department to undertake a comprehensive testing regime for staff and inmates at both prisons.
Director of Prisons Steve Barrett said his organisation had already begun implementing preventive measures following the recent news of community transmission of COVID-19.
The objective of these restrictions is to minimise the potential for the virus to spread within the prison population.
Activities have been restricted to reduce people movement across the prison estates. Furthermore prison officials are contacting external partners to cancel services delivered by them until further notice.
While visits are being cancelled from today, arrangements will be made for inmates to utilise virtual visits facilities to ensure that they can maintain contact with their families.
In addition to mandating mask-wearing by staff, and enhancing existing provisions for hand sanitizing and cleaning which are already in place, Northward and Fairbanks prisons are currently being prepared for a further treatment of Nanotize, as part of the HMCIPS deep cleaning programme.
This treatment will coat every surface in the prison with a protective layer of nano-technology that protects against mould and coronavirus for up to six months.
Describing the prison system as particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to the high number of persons clustered in a small area, Director Barrett emphasised HMCIPS’s commitment to protecting employees and inmates and ensuring the best possible outcomes for all.
He noted that Public Health had begun its usual contact tracing process, including requiring any person who came in direct contact with the staff member yesterday to isolate.
Her Majesty’s Prison Northward is a COVID-19 vaccination centre. Sixty one percent of prison staff have had at least a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 57 percent who are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile 56 percent of inmates have had at least a single dose, and 33 percent are fully vaccinated.