Inmates on remand positive for COVID-19

| 19/05/2020 | 41 Comments
Cayman News Service
HMP Northward

(CNS): Two prisoners at HMP Northward, who were both on remand waiting for trial, have tested positive for coronavirus, HM Cayman Islands Prison Service (HMCIPS) has confirmed. Both men are asymptomatic and are isolated alone, the prison service revealed in a release Tuesday morning. The two inmates have been held in the remand block of HMP Northward ahead of trial since late last year, HMCIPS said, noting that all other prisoners in this block who have so far been tested for COVID-19 were negative.

This follows the news yesterday that two staff members at Foster’s supermarket have been added to the list of COVID-19 positive cases.

A prison-wide screen testing programme began earlier this month and was available to all inmates and staff, the release from HMCIPS stated, noting that test results from some staff and prisoners remain outstanding as of Tuesday, 19 May.

“Staff and inmates are understandably anxious about the news but they have been assured that we are taking all the necessary steps to test, track and isolate cases. This latest incident, while unfortunate, does however indicate that testing everyone at the prison despite no one having symptoms was the right thing to do,” said Prison Director Steven Barrett.

“We will continue to work closely with the Public Health Department to determine the best way forward from here. The health and well-being of staff and prisoners remains our absolute primary focus,” he added.

HMP Northward is now fully isolated from the public, and its internal blocks are isolated from each other, while the prison population and staffing group are retested.

Robust hygiene procedures, social distancing protocols and restricted staff access to the prison have been in place at both of Cayman‘s prisons since March 2020, the release stated.

These measures included prisoners being required to isolate for 14 days in the admission wing prior to entering the main prison population, as well as the early release of non-violent prisoners to enable greater social distancing.


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Category: Crime, Health, health and safety, Prison

Comments (41)

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  1. La Vida loca says:

    What makes them so special 557am we the public are subject to the same threat out here of contracting the virus at least they are in a controlled environment.Why should we now face multiple threats from them with crime or violence. At least they have guaranteed work unlike some of us who no longer have jobs. Complaining about Prison conditions I doubt will get you much sympathy out here right now. Your epistle wreaks of self importance and your own agenda here or perhaps a family members.

  2. Jail Bryd says:

    The problem with your solution 5:57am is that upon release they seldom comply with anything including the law. They simply continue using drugs and committing crimes and posing a serious threat to the general public thus they end up back in prison infected with virus. A monitor put of them means absolutely nothing especially when they commit crimes in places and times they are allowed to be. That’s why prison are made it’s not a holiday place bobo. We have enough foolishness to contend with out here now no need to add more to it .Keep they @$$ in jail do the crime you the time Star!

  3. ELO says:

    It should not come as a surprise that the Virus has occurred in Prison. The Director appears to have done a good job to avoid it thus far. I’ve heard that the Prison itself is old and on some regards run down. Not an easy place to clean. I am sure that the decent staff in the prison are doing all they can to keep both themselves and the Prisoners safe.

  4. Elvis says:

    The last thing they need is an outbreak in the prison which had no areas of segregation for sick people. In an already overcrowded condemned prison which was inspected twice by the uk and deemed not fit for human confinement surely the government need to act now and get some of those prisoners who are deemed safe enough to be released home to their families. I’m talking of the old inmates sick and with medical issues. Inmates who in 6 months will be out anyway living in our neighborhoods like it or not. I’m talking about low risk caymanians who were working outside before all this happened. Put some low risk inmates on tags and confine them to their homes like the rest of us.
    Doing this will be a great assistance to the health and safety of all those held and working within the prison. Mr Barrett has e haunted his powers to release low fish sick inmates it’s time for someone to now be proactive instead of waiting waiting waiting and then being reactive as usual.
    Just saying.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to agree with Elvis for once if only to be a smart ass. We’ve been told that unless we agree with the government imposed protocols that we want people to die. So unless the government is imposing a death sentence on the prison population then they should probably all be released until such time as the virus is eradicated.

      • Anonymous says:

        You do know most people do NOT die from Covid19? Tom Hanks.

      • Menace to Society says:

        I will agree with you 9:50am My Only condition is if they release all them to live right next door to you! See how that works ?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was saying the courts could sentence people to prison after this is more over. A lot of you still call this disgraceful place Government’ Hotel. Just look at it on a map, the highest spot in the compound is 9 feet above sealevel. I think I said enough. Maybe we pay for a study for the Shelves.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never considered the pus side before. You may be on to something.

  7. Anon a mouse says:

    Locked up or Locked down?

  8. Anonymous says:

    How? From having someone visit them? EXPLAIN PLEASE.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There has been no visitors at HMP Northward since the Lock-down started. People are allowed to drop off supplies like cigarettes, soap, etc for their family members in prison as normal, but not on Sundays. No one is allowed visitors.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Literally in jail since late last year, and COVID-19 protocols in place since March, yet still catching the virus in mid-May from their position behind bars. How is that even possible Mr Barrett?

    • Anonymous says:

      17 more today keep opening

      • Junior says:

        People in prison have to see people on a daily basis. The nurse, doctor, they have to go hospital for required medical procedures, which may mean sitting in a chair somewhere which may have a virus particle upon it, maybe a room where the virus is on a certain piece of hospital equipment.
        All the officers are especially careful, all have been tested and 99 % results returned are negative they await the other results who took the test.
        No one knows exactly where this virus comes from in the world or really where they catch it, all we know is people catch it.
        The main thing is they caught them and are now doing a full test again of the prison and staff would be tested every couple of weeks anyway.
        Think about it folks.

        • Brown Freeman says:

          Very simple but real folks, they are asymptomatic. Remanded since last year. Exactly when? Or they got infected inside of the Prison, or they got it before and are part of this small group (in infectious diseases like SARS-CoVID2) that we know that always become asymptomatic carriers propagators. There must be a number of them in our communities. We have not tested in the community. Once again, the CoVID19, is circulating here long time before March 2020, we will have a lot more positives -as evidence- if we (as must be) at this time let the PCR for the symptomatics, high risk, and exposed persons, and introduce Serological Immunological quick test for antibodies IgM and IgG (boths) i.e from Cellex approved by the FDA or PinacleBiolabs (90% proven accuracy) against 30% false negative of the PCR (proven too all over the world from long time), 30% potentially positive every 100 tests done is a lot. The CIG and CMO needs to listen, our full -small population- can be tested in this way, door to door, it will give us the incidence and prevalence by place, by age, sex, race and group, by symptons or not symptons, by travel history or not.Then we will identify the positives, the ones who has developed some sort of immunity, and most important the carriers propagators, which are the dangerous ones, and treat them, IT IS A MUST, with known drugs that stop Coronavirus RNA replication, some expensive but necessary. I have said this clearly from day 1, even to the CIG in several ocassions, and recently.
          This is the only way of real control and real supression. If not we will have outbreaks over and over again, even with our borders closed.
          And at some point the health crisis will unfold and deaths will occur, creating panic and distress. I cannot understand why they are trying to hidde that are so opossed to Serological Immunological easy tests for both antibodies IgM (identify accute viral infection) and IgG (identify past viral infection, but also carriers propagators). This is not about politics or power, this is about the right science.

          I have said.

          Dr. Freeman (MD)

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, and some let out of lockdown early to prevent the spread..

      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t imagine releasing prisoners if they had COVID 19…….. or releasing them because they didn’t have it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Someone explain to me how we couldn’t go to the beach or leave our house on Sundays but yet people could still go to the prison and visit inmates? How do they have more rights than us? Seems to me like the government has us on lockdown because they want to control the population, not the spread of Covid.

    • Anonymous says:

      For what purpose?

    • Anonymous says:

      Get your facts straight before you spew shit. There have been NO visitations for WEEKS! They have no rights, no access to any hand sanitizer or masks, two people to a cell, no social distancing whatsoever. The remand inmates mingling with the other blocks and spreading around the virus. Pure shit going on in there while the Government saying they are taking all precautions. Pure BS!!!!

    • Nordic says:

      There have been no physical visits for some time. Visits are via FaceTime etc.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m feed up with Judges sending curfew breakers to prison carrying Coronavirus and whatever other viruses they might have there.

    And the other unbelievable thing is 2 or 3 Cayman Brac young men were released on bail last week and were back on Cayman Brac within a few hours.

    And another unbelievable thing: Doctor here sending people to Grand Cayman on a day pass because of a swollen knee.

    F*** this kind of s***!
    Paul Scott
    Cayman Brac

  13. Anonymous says:

    They won’t be able to claim that they are returning travelers! This is certain community transmission. On the pus side, the prison will have detailed records of every visitor so it should be possible to identify the carrier.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the prison officers? Where are they going when off duty? What restrictions and controls are on them and those they interact with? This is not good.

      • Anonymous says:

        Inmates… in the freaking headline bobo

      • ELO says:

        Exactly the same restrictions as every other citizen on Island. All sanitising, wearing masks, doing what they’re instructed to do. Having their temperature checked on the way in, doing everything they can not to bring the Virus in. Being tested and being careful. Probably more than most.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alternatively, maybe only a small percentage of our population gets the disease. This is true of Kirks, Fosters and Cost U Less. Here is who’s been out and about while we stay home. Police, politicians, garbage men, delivery people, doctors and nurses, utilities workers, road workers, farmers, port workers, internet, etc. We expect all these people to cater to our needs while we hide. It will not be Covid-19 that kills these islands, it will be FEAR.

    • Jeff B (almost tri) says:

      I agree. Thanks the lord we can track the visitors of this terrible disease.
      Stay home cayman. I proposed a full lock down until Mr. Gates comes up with the vaccine. Thanks Mr. Gates.
      Total lock down now. We need to flatten the curve.
      Please stay home. Evberybody. No fishing or beach. Total lock down.
      I love Mr. Gates.

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