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Virginia DOC ramps up COVID-19 testing

While the nationwide struggle to increase testing for the coronavirus continues, the Virginia Department of Corrections has been working with Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia, and the Virginia Department of Health to increase testing of incarcerated offenders, a release stated.

Virginia Department of Health staff visited state correctional facilities on Monday to assist with the increased testing. The VADOC has ordered hundreds of additional tests, and VCU, UVA and the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services are also sending hundreds of tests to VADOC facilities.

The VADOC is testing all symptomatic offenders, a release said. As of Monday, 434 VADOC offenders have been tested for COVID-19. Currently, 116 offenders have active COVID-19 cases, and 50 staff members have active
COVID-19 cases.

In addition to testing symptomatic offenders, the VADOC last week began point prevalence testing. This involves testing asymptomatic offenders and provides a snapshot in time, testing for surveillance purposes rather than just symptoms. This enables the VADOC to monitor and treat positive cases sooner, rather than after symptoms develop. Point prevalence testing has been done at Harrisonburg CCAP and Haynesville Correctional Center, and will be done this week at Deerfield Correctional Center.

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