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April 1, 2020

No joke: BOP on April 1 reporting ever growing number of COVID cases in ever growing number of federal facilities

Just this past Friday (March 27) as detailed in this post, the BOP's COVID-19 Update page was reporting "only" 14 federal inmates and 13 federal prison staffers had tested positive for COVID-19.  Now BOP has updated its cases as of April 1, and it now reports that 57 federal inmates and 37 federal prison staffers have tested positive.  Here is where these latest BOP numbers come from:

(Inmate) 4/1/2020 - MDC Brooklyn; FCC Oakdale (11); USP Atlanta (4); MCC New York (4); FMC Butner (9); FCI Otisville; FCI Danbury (9); FCC Lompoc (6); FCI Elkton (2); USP Canaan, PA; Forrest City, AK (2); Yazoo City, MS; RRC Phoenix, AZ; RRC Brooklyn, NY (4); RRC Janesville, WI.

(Staff) 4/1/2020 - Grand Prairie, TX; Leavenworth, KS (no inmate contact); Yazoo, MS (3); Atlanta, GA (3); Danbury, CT (4); Butner, NC; Ray Brook, NY (2); New York, NY (5); Chicago, IL (2); Brooklyn, NY (4); Oakdale, LA (4); Lompoc, CA; Otisville, NY; Talladega, AL; Tucson, AZ; Milan, MI; Southeast Regional Office Atlanta, GA; Central Office, Washington, DC

By my count, this list shows 15 different federal prison facilities with inmates who have tested positive and 18 different communities with federal prison staff who have tested positive.  And, of course, there is every reason to fear that these numbers represent the tip of worrisomely big iceberg.

A few of many prior related posts:

UPDATE: And now, as reported in this NPR piece, BOP is reporting that there have already been three COVID-related deaths at just the FCC Oakdale facility:

A third person held at the federal prison in Oakdale, La., has died of COVID-19, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons officials. The person's name was not released while authorities notified the person's next of kin.

The second patient to die, Nicholas Rodriquez, 43, became ill on March 25 and had a high temperature and a rapid heartbeat, BOP officials said. He was transported to a local hospital that day, and tested positive for COVID-19. Rodriquez was placed on a ventilator on March 27, after his condition deteriorated. He died on April 1.

BOP officials said Rodriquez had long-term, preexisting medical conditions which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists as risk factors for developing more severe COVID-19 disease. Rodriguez was serving a 188-month sentence on drug charges, and had been at the Oakdale facility for about a year....

The Bureau of Prisons told The Lens that it has stopped testing for the virus at the facility because the outbreak is so widespread. Instead, anyone with symptoms is assumed to have COVID-19. A spokesperson for the bureau told the news outlet that the move is intended "to conserve valuable testing resources," and added that the bureau had no plans to release nationwide testing figures.

April 1, 2020 at 03:27 PM | Permalink


I have a client at Carswell who reports at least four inmates in isolation, including one from her unit. Zero infections reported at Carswell so far, though. Is staff there not testing, not reporting, or is this just typical "abundance of caution" without something to worry about?

Posted by: Jay Hurst | Apr 1, 2020 4:52:18 PM

As a former criminal defense attorney in Ohio I now get the pleasure of watching the federal prison system as my wife is inside Coleman in Florida it’s a camp for ladies but it also is the largest prison complex in the country so my question is since there’s no reported confirmed cases inIs it because there are none or is it because no tests equal no confirmation my guess it’s the latter they had a bout of legionnaires disease earlier this year and tested next to no one even though they confirmed several cases so they’re not very transparent

Posted by: Ed Diougherty | Apr 1, 2020 5:36:15 PM

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