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Nevada Department of Corrections announces more testing

High Desert State Prison.jpg
Posted at 10:04 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 13:11:58-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) has begun implementing a testing framework to ensure all Nevada offenders and staff are tested for COVID-19.

The framework, developed in coordination with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory (NSPHL), will help prevent asymptomatic transmission of the virus.

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NSPHL will provide specimen testing for NDOC facilities and has the ability to test about 500 specimens daily.

“Our medical staff has worked tirelessly to test staff and offenders at High Desert State Prison (HDSP),” said Charles Daniels, NDOC Director.

"Our goal is to mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 through rigorous testing and the implementation of deliberate and pro-active protocols. I am proud of the partnership we have with Nevada’s lab and health department in addressing this issue to protect the health of everyone at NDOC.”

On Monday, offenders at HDSP’s intake unit were tested. Three positive cases of COVID-19 were identified, in addition to one male offender at HDSP who tested positive last week.

All four offenders came from Clark County Detention Center and were undergoing health, mental, and physical screening when they were tested for COVID-19.

FIRST STORY: Coronavirus reported at High Desert State Prison in Nevada

Standard intake operations require all offenders be isolated for a minimum of 20 days, which allows NDOC medical staff to monitor for symptoms during the generally accepted 14-day incubation period of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, NDOC will test staff at HDSP and offenders currently housed in the prison’s other units. Then on Wednesday, NDOC will distribute 5,000 tests to medical staff and launch a campaign to conduct widespread testing of staff and offenders throughout Nevada.