PRESS RELEASE: Third Confirmed Case of COVID-19 reported by Corrections Employee
Released March 18, 2020
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has now received confirmation that a third employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee, who works at the Peninsula Work Release in Port Orchard, was last in the office on March 5, 2020, and received positive test results March 15. They will not return to work until they recover.
“Peninsula Work Release leadership continues to be in contact with the employee throughout the individual’s recovery process,” said Secretary Steve Sinclair. “We hope you will join us in wishing them a speedy recovery.
“Corrections is also announcing changes in access to work release,” he said. “Effective March 16, the department is suspending work release visits and social outings to protect the individuals housed in our work release facilities. Work release staff, like all Corrections staff, are subject to enhanced screening each day they report to work.”
As of March 18 at 1 p.m., Corrections has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our incarcerated population, those in work release or those under community supervision.
Peninsula Work Release response
DOC Human Resources and Peninsula Work Release staff have notified other employees and individuals housed at the work release. Peninsula Work Release employees have been directed to report to work and return home only, limit exposure to others and monitor symptoms. Individuals housed at Peninsula Work Release are quarantined there until the end of the 14-day quarantine period, which is in seven days.
Editor’s note: As of March 20 at 11 a.m., the Department of Corrections has three confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported by its employees, one reported by a contractor at the Peninsula Work Release and no confirmed cases among the incarcerated, those on supervision or those in work release.
DOC will no longer send individual news releases on every new case reported by DOC employees or contract staff but will instead update new cases on our COVID-19 Information Center.
DOC will, however, send a proactive notice if the department learns of a confirmed case of COVID-19 among the incarcerated, those on supervision or those in work release.
For the latest news about Corrections’ response to COVID-19, including frequently asked questions (FAQs) for staff and for the public, please visit our COVID-19 Information Center on doc.wa.gov.