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UPDATE: Health Officials Investigating Prison Virus Outbreak

Lauren FitzgeraldApril 1, 2020

UPDATE: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Leavenworth County Health Department are conducting a joint medical investigation into the COVID-19 cases identified at Lansing Correctional Facility.

On March 31, the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) announced three staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

KDHE is conducting the tracing and investigation within the facility regarding offenders and staff. Leavenworth County Health Department will conduct tracing and investigation outside of the facility. The health agencies will contact those individuals identified as being at risk, individually.

For questions related to facility practices, please contact KDOC at (785) 296-1928.

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.


ORIGINAL: The COVID-19 Coronavirus has been confirmed at a Kansas prison.

Accroding to Kansas Department of Corrections Secretary Jeff Zmuda,  three staff members working at Lansing Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19. These are the first positive cases within a KDOC facility.

The staff include a male over the age of 20 and two females over the age of 40. In order to protect the identity of these staff, no other information will be released.

The KDOC has been in consultation with officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on next steps to address these circumstances. As a result of that consultation with KDHE, the following steps are being implemented immediately:

  • A medical investigation to ascertain who among our staff and residents have been in close contact with these staff
  • Notifying those persons that they have had contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case
  • Moving those residents who have had close contact to medical isolation where they will be monitored for symptoms
  • And remaining diligent in monitoring other staff and residents for symptoms

“With a virus that moves and changes as quickly as the coronavirus we anticipated that this day may come,” Zmuda said. “With the support and guidance of KDHE and Governor Kelly, and the hard work of our staff members, we are ready to care for our residents and those we serve in the community.”

The Lansing Correctional Facility, formerly the Kansas State Penitentiary, opened in 1867 during the presidency of Andrew Johnson and is the oldest and largest state correctional facility in Kansas. Serving only males, the facility currently has 1,906 offenders.

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2020. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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