Lincoln, Neb. — Director Scott R. Frakes announced on Sunday that a staff member at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The staff member is employed at the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center (DEC) and has been isolated at home for five days.
“The individual in this case has indicated no close contact with any other staff members or inmates,” said Dir. Frakes. “Notification will be provided to the facility and we will take additional precautions to monitor the temperatures of those individuals in the housing unit where the employee worked.”
Currently, anyone entering an NDCS building must undergo a temperature check. In addition, they must wear a mask and answer a series of screening questions pertaining to potential symptoms and exposure to COVID-19.
“Masks have also been issued to all inmates,” noted Dir. Frakes. “In conjunction with universal health precautions, wearing a mask is the best preventative measure that can be utilized to prevent the spread of this illness.”
This is the second staff-positive case of COVID-19 reported in NDCS. No inmates have tested positive.
“We have been fortunate, but we have also worked very hard to flatten the curve within our system,” said Dir. Frakes. “From the onset, we have asked staff members to self-assess their symptoms, report any illness and take all precautions possible to prevent the transmission of germs.”
“Control of this disease is very much in the hands of the people who live and work in our facilities. We need people to continue to be diligent about disinfecting, washing their hands and wearing personal protective equipment, like masks. These are simple things, but when it comes to this virus, they are proving to be the best protection we have.”