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Positive COVID-19 cases decline at Mabel Bassett

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Mabel Bassett Correctional Center

For the last few months Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud has been a COVID-19 hot spot increasing the number of overall cases in Pottawatomie County, but currently the facility has two positive cases.

According to statistics from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Mabel Bassett currently has 219 inmates who’ve recovered from COVID-19. 

According to a press release from the ODOC, Mabel Bassett is not the only correctional facility in the state to have high COVID-19 cases and in response to the threat of COVID-19 ODOC has deployed Rapid Response Teams. 

When a facility is declared a hot spot for the virus these teams meet with the warden of the facility within 24 hours and formulate a Hot Spot Action Plan.

The DOC explained the teams are made up of correctional officers who worked in the Comanche County jail at the beginning of the pandemic and gained first hand knowledge of the best methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

One aspect of the Hot Spot Action Plan includes the teams delivering additional Personal Protective Equipment kits to staff members in the facility. 

In addition to correctional officers, the ODOC press release said, Rapid Response Teams also includes a food service representative, environmental health experts, human resources and medical personnel.

The press release said, the ODOC medical staff developed a plan to identify hot spots in any facilities and from this plan are certain criteria. 

For a facility to be considered a hot spot at least 20 percent of inmates need to test positive in a celled housing unit or at least 15 percent of inmates need to test positive in an open bay housing unit. 

The press release said if there are fewer positive cases, medical staff will consider other risk factors such as the medical acuity level of the unit, the known vulnerability of the population, the number of positive staff cases and any other risk factors.

ODOC said when a facility is declared a hot spot visitation is halted, inmates are tested and if needed quarantined, staff work areas are moved from exposure, and additional PPE is provided to staff.

In addition, the press release said, medical staff monitor inmates and ensure the proper medical responses take place such as hospitalization when necessary.

For a facility or unit in a facility to be released from its hot spot status, ODOC said the medical staff will evaluate the number of positive cases, the number of quarantined or isolated inmates and the medical condition of inmates at the location. 

As of Monday, Sept. 21 Mabel Bassett has one inmate hospitalized, zero possible or confirmed inmate deaths due to COVID-19, 56 inmates in quarantine, two inmates in isolation, one positive staff case, 33 recovered staff members and zero staff deaths.

To check the current status of inmates and staff members regarding COVID-19 visit http://doc.publishpath.com/Default.aspx?shortcut=covid-19-stats-report.