The state Department of Corrections reported 808 new COVID-19 cases among inmates Monday — the highest single-day spike in cases in the state prison system since the start of the pandemic.
The new infections bring the total number of COVID-19 cases among inmates up to 6,977 and the active case count to 2,063, according to DOC’s data dashboard.
Six prisons have massive outbreaks of more than 100 active COVID-19 cases among prisoners: New Lisbon Correctional Institution with 362 cases, Fox Lake Correctional Institution with 360, Oshkosh Correctional Institution with 258, Racine Correctional Institution/Sturtevant Transitional Facility with 250, Taycheedah Correctional Institution with 140 and Dodge Correctional Institution with 135.
Some of the new spikes are in prisons that have been battling COVID-19 for several weeks but have failed to keep the virus from spreading once it got into the facility.
Oshkosh Correctional Institution, for instance, had an outbreak of 341 active cases Oct. 5, which dipped below 100 cases but then rose again to 288 active cases Oct. 19. By the end of October, infections were starting to wane, with only 39 active cases on Oct. 31.
But after the most recent surge, Oshkosh has become the prison with the greatest number of COVID-19 infections in the state with a total of 944 cases since March. That’s nearly half of the prison’s entire population.
So far, DOC has reported 10 COVID-19-related inmate deaths, measured as prisoner deaths in which a local medical examiner or coroner has confirmed that the virus was an underlying cause of death or a significant condition that contributed to death.
Despite cases continuing to rise, the death count hasn’t changed since Nov. 3. More prisoners may have died from COVID-19, but they won’t be added to DOC’s data dashboard until the medical examiner confirms it.
Prisons with smaller, but still sizable COVID-19 outbreaks included Ellsworth Correctional Center with 84 active cases among inmates, Jackson Correctional Institution with 56, Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility with 55, Waupun Correctional Institution with 54, McNaughton Correctional Center with 52, Black River Correctional Center with 39, Columbia Correctional Institution with 36 and Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility with 34.
Among staff, a total of 1,470 DOC employees have self-reported testing positive for the virus, with 338 of those active Monday.
More COVID-19 outbreaks in Wisconsin prisons top recent notable crime-related news