* The Hill…
Only 17 states and Washington, D.C. are currently meeting minimum targets for doing enough coronavirus testing, according to a new analysis.
The Harvard Global Health Institute, in collaboration with NPR, finds that 14 states and Washington, D.C. are doing enough testing to mitigate the spread of the virus, meaning it won’t be eliminated but it will not spread out of control. An additional three states are meeting a higher threshold of doing enough tests to suppress the virus and prevent almost any new cases. […]
The 14 states along with Washington, D.C. doing enough testing to mitigate the spread of the virus, according to the analysis, are: Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The three states meeting the higher goal of suppression-level testing are Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska, with West Virginia, Montana, and New Jersey close behind, the analysis finds.
*** UPDATE 1 *** There is, however, a problem with Illinois prisons. Here’s Hannah Meisel…
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has tested less than three percent of its prison population for coronavirus — a ratio that criminal justice reform group Restore Justice Illinois says is unacceptable, as Covid-19 cases in a northwest Illinois prison facility spike.
According to IDOC, 71 incarcerated men at the East Moline Correctional Center tested positive for Covid-19, along with five staff members. That number has steadily climbed since Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration first acknowledged the outbreak two weeks ago, when 26 inmates and three staff members had tested positive.
That rapid spread is a symptom of IDOC’s failure to formulate an adequate Covid-19 testing plan, according to a new report from Restore Justice published Tuesday. The group blasted IDOC for not reporting more data to the public, including how many prisoners are currently hospitalized with the virus and timely reports of Covid-19 deaths among incarcerated populations and prison staff.
“More than any other state, [Illinois has] embraced the most vigorous Covid-19 safety measures and protocols,” Restore Justice President Jobi Cates said Monday. “It baffles me how we could be in late June and still have only tested under three percent of prison population.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Jordan Abudayyeh…
The Department has been closely following the CDC guidelines and working with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) based infectious disease specialists to develop strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID 19 in Department facilities. The guidance we have received has not advised utilizing mass testing. However, the Department tests symptomatic offenders, uses focused prevalence testing, screens selected subpopulations, and screens offenders prior to inter-facility movement and medical furloughs. The Department also requires that staff be screened prior to entering facilities. The screenings include responding to a series of COVID related questions and having their temperatures taken. In the event that staff have any of the COVID-19 symptoms outlined in the screening document and/or have a temperature they must go home. The Office of Health Services constantly reviews the evidence and remains open to modifying current practices based on expert guidance.
*** UPDATE 3 *** From the University of Illinois System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs…
The University of Illinois System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) today released a report on COVID-19’s impact in the state’s prisons and jails. […]
The Policy Spotlight says testing should be prioritized in areas where there is a greater risk of the virus either being carried into the facility by staff from the region or spilling over into the community. The spotlight suggests that while the Illinois Department of Corrections has made progress on giving inmates some access to cleaning and hygiene supplies and COVID-19 testing, the conditions still need to be improved.