COVID outbreak at Maui correctional facility called out of control

Family members say COVID outbreak at Maui correctional facility is out of control

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A coronavirus outbreak at Maui’s jail has state and county officials scrambling to stop the spread.

Although there were no new cases reported at Maui Community Correctional Center on Wednesday, there are currently 26 active infections.

MCCC is the only correctional facility in the state with active coronavirus cases. The state has managed to eliminate the virus from all other facilities.

However, those who have relatives jailed on Maui say the outbreak at MCCC is far from over.

“It’s obvious there’s an outbreak that is beyond their ability to control,” said a man whose brother-in-law is an MCCC inmate. “He hadn’t even been in three weeks and he already got COVID.”

The man asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation against his brother-in-law. He said his brother-in-law tested positive for COVID on Friday but was still allowed to worked in the kitchen.

“When he ended up showing COVID positive, he still worked for another day with a positive test before they separated him and moved him into another part of the prison,” he said.

Public Safety officials say security and medical staff are working long hours to keep the virus from spreading. They also said staff are monitoring inmates for symptoms, taking temperatures, and making health checks at least twice a day.

“All offenders have also been told if they have any pains or symptoms of an upper respiratory illness to report it immediately to the medical staff,” said Toni Schwartz, Public Safety spokeswoman.

Maui County officials said they are also helping the state stop the spread.

“As soon as we were notified about positive cases within the facility, we worked with providers to go and get testing done. So, we did testing of inmates as well as the correctional officers that work there,” said Maui County Managing Director Sandy Baz. He said they have vaccinated 150 inmates so far.

MCCC currently has 296 inmates.

The operational capacity is 301 inmates and design capacity is 209 inmates.

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