Northam calls for increased COVID-19 testing in two federally-run prisons

coronavirus researcher

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Gov. Ralph Northam is pushing the federal government to implement additional screening and testing for COVID-19 in two federally-run detention centers in Virginia.

Northam is offering state support to boost testing at the two facilities – the Farmville Detention Center and the Caroline County Detention Center.

In a letter to Virginia’s congressional delegation, Northam wrote that testing everyone in the facilities, including detainees, staff, and contractors, will help protect the health of those living in the facilities, as well as the surrounding communities.

Both detention centers are operated by the federal government, and the Commonwealth has limited authority to enter them. However, these facilities are congregate settings, where COVID-19 spreads more easily.

The Virginia Department of Health is supporting point prevalence surveys in other congregate settings, such as long-term care facilities and correctional facilities.

Increased testing in those settings helps mitigate the spread of the virus, both within the facility and in the communities in which the facilities are located.

The full text of the governor’s letter is available here.


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