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7 Detainees At St. Thomas Jail Test Positive For COVID-19, BOC Says

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Six detainees at the Alexander A. Farrelly Criminal Justice Complex on St. Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 Monday evening, the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections said Tuesday.

Corrections began testing detainees Monday night after one complained of mild, flu-like symptoms. Thus far, the positive COVID-19 tests have come only from detainees housed in the same unit. There are 76 inmates/detainees at the complex as of Tuesday.

Several hours after the six detainees tested positive for COVID-19 at CJC, the Virgin Islands Police Department arrested another person who was COVID-19 positive before being turned over to Correction’s custody. None of the seven detainees who are COVID-19 positive have required hospitalization. According to the BOC, all are being monitored closely by the complex nursing staff, under the supervision of Dr. Linda Callwood, the Bureau’s medical director.

Out of an abundance of caution, and pursuant to CDC guidelines, BOC also has begun testing inmates in other housing units. All inmates/detainees tested in different housing units have so far been negative for COVID-19, the bureau said in Tuesday’s news release. All staff at the Criminal Justice Complex who have been tested have also tested negative for COVID-19 thus far. BOC is working with the Department of Health to test all inmates and detainees weekly until CJC is declared COVID-19 free. BOC has an adequate number of physical protective equipment on hand for its staff and is collaborating with Health to supply enough test kits to conduct weekly testing of all inmates, detainees, and staff, the news release said.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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