CORONAVIRUS

10 inmates test positive for coronavirus at Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville

The Iowa Medical and Classification Center in an aerial photograph in Coralville on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (The Gazett
The Iowa Medical and Classification Center in an aerial photograph in Coralville on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (The Gazette)

Ten men housed at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville have tested positive for the coronavirus according to an email sent from the facility’s warden to several Department of Corrections officials.

According to the Iowa Department of Corrections, expanded testing was initiated at IMCC. The testing was initially focused on the inmates who came from county jails and were placed in special intake quarantine, where the first positive inmate case was located.

The DOC said 69 new tests have been completed on the inmates in this unit in the last 24 hours, and four tests were completed on staff that have worked in this area.

Of those, 10 inmates have been found positive, 48 tests were negative and 11 tests are still pending. The department has also ordered an additional 150 tests that will be conducted on staff and inmates, according to a new release.

According to the DOC, IMCC staff has moved quickly to expand mitigation efforts at the prison by implementing prison-wide restricted movement, and conducting a deep-cleaning of the affected unit, while expanding efforts to separate healthy inmates from those that have tested positive.

The facility has also suspended all non-medical admissions and transfers.

“At this time, the vast majority of inmates remain asymptomatic and they will continue to be medically isolated and monitored for any medical needs as they recover,” the DOC said.

IMCC serves as the reception and classification center for all those entering the adult male institutional corrections system, and typically houses an average daily population of approximately 950 offenders. An estimated 400-500 new commitments come into the facility every month before being processed on to the other facilities.

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The department has been preparing for the eventuality of COVID-19 since early March, according to a news release. Information regarding the DOC’s efforts, as well as a link to the department’s pandemic policy is available at doc.iowa.gov/department-corrections-steps.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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