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Update on COVID-19 outbreak at Augusta Correctional Center: 397 positives among inmates, staff

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The COVID-19 outbreak at Augusta Correctional Center in Craigsville seems to be stabilizing, with no new positive tests among inmates since Monday evening.

As of the Thursday update to the Virginia Department of Corrections COVID-19 dashboard, 332 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

The number of COVID-19 positives among staff is now at 65, which is up nine since Monday.

We continue to hear from family members of inmates who are getting little or no contact with their loved ones.

The mother of an inmate wrote this to us tonight:

“People on the outside are living in very stressful times, but the ones on the inside, I can only imagine are living – no, not living, but existing – on the edge. Emotions and tempers are so fragile, and there is no empathy given. There haven’t been physical visits since March, and now video visits are canceled, and phone calls are very restricted.

“At the end of the day, these are humans who deserve simple human decency. We can’t allow this situation to continue, or things will really be unearthed with negative outcomes. I know from my contact on the inside that my son is afraid of making formal complaints for fear of becoming a target or retribution. That is the last thing to worry about, given the dire straits.”

And we received this communication from the wife of an inmate earlier today:

“Our men are being housed like animals. Very limited contact with us, if any. Their food situation is out of control, as they are feeding them mainly commissary items, if at all. My husband, along with nine others, went without meals while they were rearranging the camp, per their color-coded system.

“I do not have to tell you the amount of stress and worry that this causes our loved ones as well as us out here worrying and praying every minute of the day for their safety throughout this pandemic.”

Story by Chris Graham

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