Update 5.26pm August 30
All jails across NSW are now in lockdown as a COVID-19 precaution.
A Corrective Services spokeswoman said:
"For the past 18 months, Corrective Services NSW has effectively managed COVID-19 risks and prevented transmission of the virus between inmates and staff in NSW prisons.
But like hospitals, schools, aged care facilities and police stations and with the significant number of cases in the community, and the transmissibility of the Delta strain, COVID-19 has now entered our correctional system.
All NSW prisons are continuing to take extra precautions after inmates, who may have been exposed to the virus, were recently transferred out of Parklea Correctional Centre.
We are introducing rapid antigen screening across the state for staff and inmates to boost our frontline defences.
The safety of all staff and inmates is our number one priority while we continue to follow the expert advice of NSW Health and Justice Health in our decision-making processes."
With inmates arriving from around the state on a regular basis, COVID-19 precautions at Goulburn Correctional Centre are vital.
Recently, six staff members tested positive at Bathurst Correctional Centre and the facility was placed into lockdown.
A Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said the safety of staff and inmates was the "number one priority", and would remain at the forefront of the decision-making process while COVID-19 posed a risk.
Goulburn jail is working with the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network to implement the following precautions:
- A central COVID Command Post has been established to streamline the jail's response to COVID-19.
- All staff are screened on entry to identify those with symptoms of COVID-19, or who have visited any known hotspots or had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days.
- Staff and visitors are temperature-checked upon entry, and anyone with a temperature of 37.5 degrees or higher is not permitted into the facility.
- Staff are directed to follow health advice and get tested if they show possible symptoms of the virus, or if contract tracing confirms contact with a COVID-19 case.
- Inmates are tested for COVID-19 when they arrive in custody and placed in quarantine for 14 days.
- Inmates are tested again on day 12 of their quarantine and are not released into the main prison population until a negative result is received.
- Measures are in place to manage any inmates who refuse to be tested for COVID-19.
- Any inmate who shows symptoms of the virus is isolated, provided with a surgical mask, and referred to Justice Health.
- At risk inmates are closely monitored.
- Prison transfers have been limited and include urgent medical escorts and transporting inmates from court cells to prisons.
- All forms of external inmate leave have been suspended except under special circumstances with the approval of the commissioner.
- Personal protective equipment such as surgical masks and latex gloves as well as hand soap and hand sanitiser are available at prisons and court cells. Masks are mandatory for all staff. Increased PPE requirements apply for staff in contact with fresh receptions and inmates in quarantine and isolation.
- There has been increased cleaning at all facilities, involving teams of dedicated staff and inmates, backed up by appropriate training.
- With the support of Population Health, more staff are being trained to assist with initial information gathering for the purpose of contact tracing in our facilities.
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