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COVID in CT prisons has waned, but trouble spots still remain

The positivity rate for COVID across Connecticut’s 14 correctional facilities ranges from 0% to nearly 9%.

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — For the second time since the pandemic started, the Department of Correction has tested all of their 9,400 inmates for COVID. The results are encouraging, at least, at some facilities.

The positivity rate for COVID across Connecticut’s 14 correctional facilities ranges from 0% at the Manson Youth Institution to nearly 9% at the Robinson Correctional Institution.  Overall, it averages out to 3%. Down from a 9% test positivity rate after the first round of testing. 

Newly minted Corrections Commissioner Angel Quiros sat down with FOX61 for an interview on The Real Story and addressed their COVID battle. He recently made the decision to relocate the medical isolation unit which cohorts all the COVID positive inmates from the Northern Correctional Institution, to MacDougall Walker. "What was discovered was that the inmate population in fear of going to Northern were hiding their symptoms in many cases making the situation worse and the spread harder to stop," explained Quiros.

The commissioner admits they’ve made mistakes in their handling of COVID, but they’ve held the line on banning visitation. Inmates have been cut off except for phone calls. We spoke with a family member of a loved one in prison who wished to remain anonymous. He said, "My relative in there has been threatened a few times he’s been attacked once. There is no loved ones. Their only contact is a 15-minute phone call. "

But those 15-minute phone calls cost $3.65. That's a lot more than other states. "There will be bills that are going to be proposed calling for free phone calls. I’m at the table. I believe that the cheaper it is for family members to communicate with their loved ones that that’s the direction we need to go," said Commissioner Quiros.

Commissioner Quiros also says visitation is just around the corner. "In the very near future within the next two weeks we will commence with non-contact visits of course the capacity will be lower; they are going to have to wear masks and there will he temperature checks."

You catch Matt Caron's full interview with Commissioner Quiros Sunday at 10 AM on The Real Story.

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