A sobering IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike addressed the media today to discuss incarcerated cases of COVID-19 as a threat grows greater than any violence within Illinois’ prison systems.
More specifically, Statesville Correctional Facility, which has an older population, saw their first death today.
“There are 12 men who were incarcerated at Stateville, who are now hospitalized. Several requiring ICU and ventilator support. There are 77 additional individuals who have symptoms who are being isolated within the facility. We also know of 11 staff who have symptoms and are being appropriately isolated.” Dr. Ezike told the media earlier this afternoon. “Those who are incarcerated obviously live and work and eat and study and recreate all within that same environment. Heightening the potential for COVID-19 to spread really quickly once it’s introduced.
Governor Pritzker said protocols are being followed at the facilities. “There’s PPE that’s being distributed throughout those facilities. I understand that there are people who are concerned about anybody who’s incarcerated, I am too, but we’re doing the best we can in order to make sure these populations are distanced from one another.”
IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said innovative arrangements have been made to try to accommodate prisoners for those facilities.
That news comes as Illinois announced an additional 461 cases today, bringing the total to 5,057 and 73 dead. Will County now reports 224 COVID-19 cases this afternoon with Kankakee County reports 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 this afternoon, with 11 of those located at the Shapiro Developmental Center.