A northwest Kansas prison has an inmate test positive for Coronavirus.
Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) Secretary Jeff Zmuda announced today that one resident at the Norton Correctional Facility’s (NCF) Stockton Satellite Facility tested positive for COVID-19. This is the eighth KDOC facility with a confirmed case, with the first cases reported at Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF), Wichita Work Release Facility, Topeka Correctional Facility, Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, El Dorado Correctional Facility, Ellsworth Correctional Facility and Hutchinson Correctional Facility.
The resident at NCF is a male over the age of 30. In order to protect the identity of the person, no other information will be released. Mandatory mask protocol for staff and residents was implemented on July 3.
The KDOC has been in consultation with officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on next steps to address these circumstances. As a result of that consultation with KDHE, the following steps were implemented:
The East Unit, consisting of 96 men, will quarantine in place for a minimum of 14 days
Testing of the entire living unit and staff will be conducted
Contact tracing was conducted to determine who among our staff and residents have been in close contact with this individual
KDOC will remain diligent in monitoring other staff and residents for symptoms
“As positive COVID-19 cases in Kansas continue to rise toward record levels, family members are undoubtedly worried about their loved ones in our prison system,” Zmuda said. “All of our residents are important to us and we will work diligently to ensure their continued health and wellbeing.”
The Norton Correctional Facility opened in the buildings of the former Norton State Hospital in 1987. Minimum- to low-medium-custody residents are housed in the Central Unit with a capacity of 849. In 1988, the East Unit opened in a converted farm implement dealership building in Stockton, Kansas, to house minimum-custody residents. The East Unit has a capacity of 128.
For current information on COVID-19 in Kansas, and to sign up for updates, go to the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center at kdhe.ks.gov/coronavirus. For information on the KDOC’s response to COVID-19, visit https://www.doc.ks.gov/kdoc-coronavirus-updates.