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Baskerville prison outbreak fuels rise in virus cases

SoVaNow.com / July 29, 2020
The spread of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County has accelerated in the past week, fueled in part by a new outbreak of the disease at the Baskerville Correctional Center.

Over the most recent seven-day period, reported cases have climbed from 280 to 303. The positive tests for the virus were reported from July 20-27.

Modeling being done by the Virginia Department of Health suggested new confirmed cases would peak at 18 per week for the week ending Sept. 6. That mark has been met or surpassed in each of the past two weeks. There were 23 new cases reported in Mecklenburg County in the week ending July 27, and 18 new cases reported in the week ending July 20.

With the surge, public health officials are renewing their calls for the public to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing whenever out and about.

According to data from the Southside Health District, Mecklenburg County currently has 42 active cases of the coronavirus. Seven of those cases involve inmates and employees at the prison in Baskerville, the Virginia Department of Corrections has reported.

VCU Health and Sentara Health have reported two other active cases, one at the Sentara MeadowView Terrace long term care facility in Clarksville and another at The Hundley Center long term care facility in South Hill. Sources for the remaining 33 active cases are not publicly known.

Mecklenburg is not alone in seeing a recent surge of the coronavirus.

In Halifax and Brunswick counties, which together with Mecklenburg comprise the Southside Health District, caseloads are creeping up. In the past week, Halifax County reported an additional 18 cases of COVID-19, from 108 on July 21 to 126 on July 28. A week earlier, Halifax County reported 19 newly confirmed cases.

Over the past two weeks, Brunswick County has reported 41 new cases — 18 in the week ending July 21 and another 23 in the week ending July 28.

Brunswick County has had 184 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic first struck — 85 of those cases are attributed to the Lawrenceville Correctional Center.

While Brunswick and Halifax counties significantly trail Mecklenburg in the total number of confirmed cases, all three are currently experiencing a surge not necessarily tied to a substantial increase in testing. Only 1.5 percent of the total Southside Health District population has been tested for the virus in the past seven days.

The most recent 7-day positivity rate for Mecklenburg County stands at 8.4 cases per 100,000, according to data collected by the Harvard Global Heath Institute. The positivity rate for Brunswick is 22 cases per 100,000, and for Halifax it is 8.8 cases per 100,000.

On Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam reimposed restrictions on daily activity in the Hampton Roads area after watching COVID-19 caseloads shoot up in Tidewater localities. Northam further suggested this weekend that he will take additional steps if the virus shows signs of getting out of hand elsewhere in the state.

“Wear a mask and practice physical distancing so we don’t have to move back,” Northam wrote on Twitter Saturday.



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117

Comments

I need help...
Baskerville Correctional facility
We have local men fighting the covid virus and they are being treated horrible.
They have 95 cases
Carl Hylton from Virginia Beach is one of them. He has been in one of there covid rooms for almost a week now.
They took all there personal items, food and clothing. They haven't gotten to take a shower since 930 Thursday, no changes of clothes or liens. They have fevers and sweets and they haven't gotten to change clothes. They took there snacks so they are hungry. There are now 27 men in his area with only 14 bunks so 13 men are sick sleeping on the floor. This is not how people should be treated especially when they are sick. Please help me I sent a message to the department of corrections on Thursday with no reply. I have to be his voice.

Tosha Royse

Comments

Hello my Husband Mose McCrary have covid 19 i wish i can have my husband home i don't want him to die im there please send him home he only have 6 years left can he get on parole or something 6 year on parole he can do that i want my husband home it people in there want there family i don't want anybody to die in there please i am begging you please send them home life is to short to be in jail with covid 19 send are inmates home.these Mens shouldn't have to die in jail let them go home to there family please send them home. Persons 77

Comments

Hello my brother Aaron Mercer is currently part of the Baskerville Correctional Facility inmates who has tested positive for the virus. He has less than 2 years left and been locked up for many years. Please release and send him home to quarantine in a personalized space. How are inmates expected to quarantine in an iver populated environment where the virus possibly gets passed along with law enforcement doing nothing to aid in the successful removal of the virus from the facility. He has no type of support there if the circumstances take a turn for the worse as visitation has since been cut off at the start of the pandemic. All lives cannot be saved but with so little time left to serve he can spend it at home or even better have time served after 20 years.

Comments

My father is there and has been for about 3 years now. As of August 6, 2020, they have 122 positive cases of COVID-19 at the facility that houses roughly 428 inmates. During the time of the virus, the prison has carelessly handled this virus by housing the positive inmates in the same dormitory as the negative inmates causing them all to test positive for the virus. My father called me tonight and let me know that the warden of the prison does not come by because of “COVID-19” and they are forced to eat what they call meals that consist of cabbage, cheese, and bread. How on earth is this ever nutritious? I’m reaching out to you as well as other sources to see what if anything can be done about this. Just because they are inmates doesn’t mean they should be treated like animals!


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