We’ve been traversing the COVID-19 world for almost two years now and it has changed a lot of things in the world. When the pandemic first struck, everyone was caught off-guard, not knowing how it will impact different aspects of our lives. We all know hindsight is 20/20 and this webinar provides insights from correction facilities on how they handled the COVID-19 pandemic and how challenges, lessons learned, and successes from it can help us all prepare should a similar threat happen again in the future.
This session’s resource speaker is Jim Martin, Vice President of Program Development with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). Jim has more than two decades of experience in law enforcement and is currently a consultant with the Major County Sheriff’s Association (MCSA).
His discussion includes:
- The existing concerns in jails and prisons which is further heightened due to the pandemic.
- The National Sheriffs Association’s (NSA) response to COVID and the NCCHC Standards that are critical to be observed more so during the pandemic.
- The risks that corrections faced during the pandemic related to inmates’ safety and health conditions within the facilities.
- The proactive solutions and response in facilities to reduce the risk of COVID-19 through education, access to hygiene supplies, social distancing, and screening, quarantining and isolation procedures.
- An overview of the planning P – its purpose, objective, and expected outcomes.
- An example of incident action planning in a facility that categorized action levels based on triggering events and what must be done in each action level to prevent COVID-19 transmission within the facility.
- Differentiating commonly confused terms isolation and quarantine, and guidelines for medical isolation.
- Guidance for procuring and using protective equipment and cleaning products.
- A rundown of best practices to put into effect in the facilities during screening and temperature checks and to observe social distancing.
- Re-entry considerations to ensure former inmates being reintegrated back to the communities are able to continue medications and obtain community services needed.
- Evaluating the COVID-19 plan and operations of a corrections facility which reviewed…
- Things that gone well related to controlling the transmission of the virus.
- Lessons learned in terms of procuring PPE, utilizing virtual means for follow-up, and implementing temperature checks for staff and visitors.
- Feedback from the community and partner agencies.
- The tools needed to address issues with temperature checks, inventory, and PPE.
- The precautions to continue observing as we move forward with the pandemic.
- Things to do in preparation for future outbreaks that emphasize the importance of education, isolating cases, collaborations, sufficient supplies and equipment, and adaptability.
- The efficacy of the vaccines in reducing the effects of the virus.
- Guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals in terms of mask-wearing, quarantining, and isolating if tested positive for COVID-19.
Questions from the audience were about:
- Readiness and preparedness.
- Managing inmates that refuse to wear masks.
- Grants available specifically for COVID-related costs in facilities.
- Planning for booster shots.
Other Webinars in this Series
- NCCHC and COVID-19: Lessons We’ve Learned in our Facilities
- Suicide Prevention: A NCCHC Resource Guide
- Ahead of the Curve: How Facilities Managed during the COVID-19 Pandemic (this webinar)
- Oct 26: Working Together: Health Services and Custody Fostering Better Relationships
Resources and Handouts
- The Planning P
- COVID-19 Coronavirus: What You Need to Know in Corrections
- NCCHC Standards for Health Services in Jails, Prisons, and Juvenile Detention Facilities
- CDC Correctional and Detention Centers
- FEMA IS-201: Forms Used for the Development of the Incident Action Plan
- “They were very knowledgeable in this topic and it was interesting.” — Kathleen
- “Very impressed with the speaker – his concise delivery of information was refreshing!” — Katherine
- “I liked the Incident Plan with the color-coding and knowing what to do for each color. Please email slides to participants.” — Laurie
- “Reiteration of preventative measures for housed individuals and staff–some suggestions I hadn’t thought about.” — Sandi
- “Good distinction between “isolation” and “quarantine.” — Edward