IDOC & Wexford COVID-19 Protocol
The Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) and Wexford, the contacted medical service provider to the IDOC, have been working closely on screening and treatment protocols for any IDOC or Wexford staff, or any offender housed at an IDOC facility, should they be diagnosed as having contracted COVID-19.
It is important to note there are no known cases of COVID-19 among any offenders at an IDOC facility.
The Indiana Department of Correction has suspended in-person visitations at all correctional facilities to limit the opportunity for COVID-19 to be introduced into a facility. Visit the IDOC website and click the ‘Find A Facility’ tab to select the facility of interest, then click the ‘Visitation’ link for current visitation information.
Below is detailed information about IDOC and Wexford protocols related to COVID-19.
The IDOC and Wexford have prepared and distributed educational materials targeting health care staff, custody personnel, and offenders. These include face-to-face and telephonic briefings, conducted by senior IDOC and Wexford clinical experts; copying and posting of flyers released by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and airing educational service announcements on the IDOC offender television system.
Infection Control Materials
We are ensuring that the Indiana prisons and health care units have sufficient inventories of the supplies necessary to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including appropriate disinfection and medical treatment materials. All IDOC offenders have access to both hand sanitizer and clean running water with soap—the CDC’s recommended method to prevent spreading the virus.
Screening for Potential Infection
The IDOC and Wexford are screening for COVID-19 at those points where the virus would be most likely to enter the IDOC system: the offender reception centers where individuals new to the prison system are first housed; and visitation areas, where family members, legal counsel, or other visitors could potentially bring the virus in from the community. We are also screening all parole violators who are returned to the IDOC system, as these individuals have been exposed to unknown external environments.
Isolation of Suspected COVID-19 Patients
If our screenings reveal that an offender (a) has recently been in a location known to have an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus; and (b) is showing symptoms associated with the virus; Wexford immediately places the individual in medical isolation until COVID-19 infection can be ruled out. If the individual’s symptoms are severe, then he or she is immediately sent to the Emergency Department of a local hospital. For prospective visitors who present with the same conditions, the IDOC informs the individual of the screening results and declines permission to enter the IDOC facility.
Coordination with Other Agencies
Both the IDOC and Wexford communicate with the ISDH on an ongoing basis, coordinating with that state agency on all aspects of our COVID-19 strategy, from screening protocols and education, and treatment recommendations. Additionally, all IDOC and Wexford infection control policies, educational materials, and treatment protocols relating to COVID-19 comply with the recommendations published by the CDC.
The IDOC and Wexford have an excellent track record of collaborating with the ISDH, CDC, and other state and federal agencies to protect the health and wellbeing of offenders and staff who live and work in the Indiana prisons. We have proactively partnered with these agencies to design and implement a plan to prevent and combat any spread of COVID-19 in the IDOC correctional facilities—and will continue to do so until the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic has passed.