Holman Correctional Facility sees 32 new inmate cases of COVID-19 despite high vaccination rates

Alabama News

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A previous version of this article reported an incorrect number of active COVID-19 cases at Holman Correctional Facility. The article has been updated to reflect information provided by ADOC to CBS 42.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, Holman Correctional Facility saw a large increase in cases despite having one of the highest percentages of inmates at least partially vaccinated by ADOC.

On Sept. 21, ADOC reported 32 new positive cases of COVID-19 had been detected in the inmate population, which raised their current number of active cases to 35, ADOC told CBS 42.

According to their COVID-19 dashboard, 75 inmates in HCF, Alabama’s only prison that carries out executions, have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

ADOC reports on the dashboard that 242 HCF inmates have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through the department out of the population of 303, meaning at least 79.9 percent of inmates are confirmed to be partially vaccinated. ADOC shared with CBS 42 that the dashboard numbers do not include the 929 fully-vaccinated inmates ADOC has taken in since the report, and it is possible the percentage is higher.

Other major correctional facilities in the state boast much lower rates of vaccination given by the department but saw little to no increase in cases. For example, Limestone Correctional Facility currently hosts the highest inmate population of 1,872. ADOC has given 1,211 inmates at least one vaccination, meaning at least 64.7 percent of the population is confirmed to be partially vaccinated. But in the same period Holman reported their surge, LCF did not report any additional cases.

The William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County has a population of 1,444 inmates but reports the department has given out 525 vaccinations, meaning only 36.4 percent of inmates are confirmed to be partially vaccinated. They added five new cases- only a fraction of what Holman added despite Donaldson having a much higher population and lower number of confirmed vaccinations.

According to their website, ADOC is utilizing quarantine protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19: “All existing quarantine protocols held in-place or newly implemented as recommended by the ADOC’s contracted State Medical Director are being maintained at each facility where newly identified positive inmate(s) are currently housed.”

ADOC also reports it is in the process of offering free COVID-19 vaccinations to inmates and that “11,759 inmates have received a vaccination through the Department as of September 17.”

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