IDSA, HIVMA Call for Strengthened Detention Facility Responses to COVID-19
With data showing alarmingly high rates of COVID-19 infection among people who are incarcerated, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and its HIV Medicine Association today released policy recommendations to prevent and respond to the spread of the coronavirus in detention settings.
The recommendations call for:
- Ensuring availability of preventive measures as well as diagnostic and treatment supplies and services;
- Immediate action to reduce population density in correctional facilities;
- And optimizing access to Medicaid coverage to ensure appropriate testing and treatment.
While the brief describes factors among people who are incarcerated and conditions in correctional settings contributing to the spread of the novel coronavirus, it also notes that other detention facilities, including ICE detention centers holding immigrants, face similar risks.
Strengthening the Response to COVID-19 in Correctional Facilities highlights data from Ohio correctional facilities showing more than 80% of slightly more than 3,000 incarcerated people tested were infected with the virus. The policy brief notes that 95% of people who are incarcerated return at some point to their communities and that correctional staff live in and interact with communities outside facility walls.