Targeted Testing Continues at Westville Correctional Facility

More cases of COVID-19 can be expected at the Westville Correctional Facility, according to the Indiana Department of Correction’s chief medical officer.

“Our numbers are a reflection of the work that we are doing, in partnership with the State Department of Health,” Dr. Kristen Dauss said during state officials’ COVID-19 briefing Monday. “So we’re seeing more positives because we’re doing more testing, so as we do more testing, I do expect to see numbers increase.”

Dauss said testing all of the facility’s inmates is not the best use of resources. Instead, testing continues in a targeted manner, which is within the CDC’s guidelines. “Eighty percent of folks who we have tested within our system have had either no symptoms or very mild symptoms,” Dauss added. “Fifteen percent have gone to the hospital, and less than five percent have required ICU care.”

IDOC Commissioner Rob Carter said about 40 of his department’s offenders have been moved to the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility Intake & Treatment Unit for their own safety. But there are still no plans to release non-violent offenders early. “A lot of these offenders are a vulnerable part of the population,” Carter explained. “They have no place to go. So it’s not a one size fits all with those that are being released. So we have to be aware of that, and again, where do we put them at? There are nursing homes that just won’t accept an offender at this point in time.”

Carter also denied rumors of a riot at the Westville Correctional Facility, saying it was just “some tension at a couple locations.”