JACKSON, MS – The Mississippi Department of Corrections, in conjunction with the Mississippi State Department of Health, has identified an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs. Marshall County borders the Mississippi-Tennessee state line with the greater Memphis metropolitan area.
According to standards established by the Mississippi State Department of Health, three or more positive COVID tests in one unit qualifies as an outbreak.
“Three inmates out of MCCF’s 959-inmate population became symptomatic last week and consequently tested positive for COVID on Monday, November 9,” said Dr. Raman Singh, medical director for MDOC’s medical provider, VitalCore Health Strategies. “The facility began contact tracing and identified 109 inmates who were either living in the area of the three positive inmates or had contact through contact tracing. Mississippi State Department of Health was notified immediately and MSDH officials tested all 109 inmates Tuesday. Of those, 53 test results came back positive. Four other positives from the week before mean there are 57 active cases at MCCF. The vast majority are asymptomatic and medical workers report only a few are showing mild symptoms. One inmate was hospitalized at the beginning of the outbreak, and has recovered while another inmate remains under observation. MDOC is strictly following CDC as well as MSDH guidelines.”
The names of the inmates are being withheld in accordance with medical privacy issues as mandated by law.
Marshall County Correctional Facility is operated by private prison management group MTC, Management & Training Corporation, of Centerville, Utah.
“With the increase of COVID in Mississippi’s general population, we planned for the contingency and have worked diligently to try to prevent any introduction of the virus into our facilities,” said MDOC Commissioner Burl Cain. “We have been working with MTC and our other private operators all year trying to prevent outbreaks by performing strict testing of each person who enters the facilities while enforcing masks, social distancing, and constant sanitization. We have separated and quarantined all affected inmates and have stopped all movements between prisons.”
Commissioner Cain said the entire Marshall County Correctional Facility will be quarantined for an additional 14 days each time an inmate tests positive for COVID-19.