12 News Investigates: COVID-19 at Federal Correctional Institution, Yazoo City

12 News Investigates

YAZOO COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Federal correctional facilities are battling the coronavirus pandemic. Records showed the Bureau of Prisons identified the Federal Correctional Institution, Yazoo City as a quarantine site close to the start of the pandemic.

With courts still sentencing inmates, the prisons have to accept them. At FCI Yazoo City Medium, there are 142 active COVID-19 inmate cases, which is roughly 11% of the inmate population. At USP Yazoo City, there’s 39 coronavirus cases, and there’s one case at FCI Yazoo City Low.

A mother of an inmate who tested positive for the virus said she doesn’t believe his health is improving in quarantine. Tracy Magee didn’t want to reveal her son’s identity. She said she doesn’t hear from him unless something is wrong.

“They quarantined him. They took him from the federal ground. They got a building where they quarantined. They quarantined him October 29, and he was supposed to go to his unit on November 12,” she said.

Magee stated her son may not get better by staying where he is.

“They’re bringing sick people on top of healing with two showers, and I think there’s about 120 of them that are sick.”

12 News reached out to FCI Yazoo City Medium via email and phone calls for information on separating inmates.

“They’re all in meetings, possibly, maybe,” said a person who answered the phone call.

The Bureau of Prisons had the following information about medical isolation and quarantine on its website.

Inmates who arrive symptomatic and/or test positive go to medical isolation. Those who are asymptomatic and/or test negative are quarantined. If they become symptomatic during quarantine, they are retested then isolated immediately. If they are asymptomatic, they stay in quarantine for at least 14 days. If their test is negative, they are released to the general population.

Bureau of Prisons

12 News also found inmates’ movements are limited and authorized in small numbers for these purposes, including showers three times a week.

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