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Nearly 400 active COVID-19 cases at Deerfield Correctional Center which houses older, ailing inmates

Nearly 400 active COVID-19 cases at Deerfield Correctional Center which houses older, ailing inmates

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Inmates return to their dormitories after lunch at Deerfield Correctional Center, in Southampton, on Wednesday, November 20, 2008. The center has equipped itself to house and care for a large number of geriatric inmates.

As of Thursday, there were almost 400 active cases of COVID-19 detected at the Deerfield Correctional Center in Capron, which houses many of the state’s older and ailing male inmates.

In late May, the Virginia Department of Corrections reported there had been 78 cases detected at the prison. On Thursday, the department reported 388 cases — up from 286 the day before — with 18 current hospitalizations and a total of three deaths since the pandemic began.

Lisa Kinney, a department spokeswoman, said that one case of the virus prompted testing of the entire facility.

Deerfield housed 925 inmates in July and the department said nearly 500 have tested positive at some point.

The department has been doing extensive testing and said that systemwide, more than 10% of the state’s roughly 27,000 prison inmates have now tested positive. Officials said most show little or no symptoms, but 16 inmates have died.

The Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, in Troy, recently reported its first major outbreak — 41 cases but no hospitalizations or deaths as of Thursday. Fluvanna is the state’s largest prison system for women, and some of its inmates have serious medical conditions.

The Department of Corrections has said it has followed CDC and state Department of Health guidelines in taking measures to curb COVID-19 from entering facilities and limiting its spread once inside.

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