Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 17, 2021 (SKNIS): Commissioner of Corrections at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP), Terrance James, said that the management of HMP is making every effort possible to protect the staff and residents at the facility from an in-house spread of COVID-19.

At a press conference on Thursday, June 17, 2021, the Head of HMP indicated that to date 37 inmates and two members of staff have tested positive for COVID-19. The infections are confined to the male block within the correctional facility.

“My management team and I have been working closely with the National COVID-19 Task Force and have been receiving advice from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Hazel Laws on what steps should be taken to contain the situation at Her Majesty’s Prison,” Commissioner James stated.

High-level meetings with officials within the Ministry of National Security are also a regular feature. Contingency plans to deal with positive cases of COVID-19 are often discussed. Some of these plans are now being implemented.

“An isolation area has been established inside the prison where affected residents have been placed and we are currently identifying additional space to house those who need to be removed from the general population to prevent the further spread of the virus at the facility and to have a speedy recovery for those who have tested positive,” Mr. James added.

Commissioner James further revealed that “all of the cells in which the affected residents were previously housed have been professionally sanitized” and no physical items designated for inmates are being received at this time from outside of HMP.

The Commissioner of Corrections stated that sanitization stations are strategically placed throughout the prison and all staff members are required to wear face masks inside the facility.

All of the confirmed cases are in stable condition and are being monitored by medical staff. Additionally, the supplement intake has increased for all residents of HMP. Anyone wishing to get vaccinated is afforded the opportunity to do so.

Mr. James expressed that there are plans in place to address the situation if there are additional positive cases. He added, however, that several staff members were tested and have returned negative results for the virus.