21 confirmed COVID-19 cases found at Bonne Terre prison

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BONNE TERRE, Mo. – COVID-19 has been found at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre, Mo.

The St. Francois County Health Center said 21 confirmed cases have been found while the facility was undergoing sentinel testing. They said 2686 inmates and staff have been tested so far, and they are still receiving results.

The health center said ERDCC is following pandemic guidelines and are now working with them to mitigate the issue.

The prison will remain closed to visitors.

The CDC said critical employees who are asymptomatic are allowed to continue working if they wear “appropriate protective equipment,” but the Department of Corrections does not allow employees to work if they test positive for COVID-19 if they are asymptomatic or not. Department of Corrections said those employees will be sent home and cannot return to work until they take two negative tests.

St. Francois County Health Center said the outbreak is under on-going investigation, and they are working to identify positive employees.

In terms of data, “inmates which have been in the facility for 14 days or more prior to testing will be counted in St. Francois County (SFC) stats per Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services guidelines,” St. Francois County Health Center said. “Employees who are SFC residents will be counted in SFC stats. Cases which reside outside of SFC will be sent to the appropriate jurisdiction.”

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