To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the incarcerated population in Wyoming. Wyoming and Hawaii are the only states that have not had any cases reported among their prison populations.
That’s according to a July 8, news release announcing Wyoming Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert has ordered the agency, working in conjunction with State Epidemiologist Dr. Alexia Harrist and her staff, to begin testing all inmates and employees for the COVID-19 virus.
Starting the week of July 13, WDOC will begin one-time 100% testing at each of its five correctional institutions in rotation. Testing will be completed on every inmate as well as every state and contract employee assigned to each of the institutions.
“We want to confirm our zero COVID-19 status,” Lampert said. “Due to the recent uptick in the incidence rate of COVID-19 in various communities in Wyoming, we want to be extra cautious. Therefore, we are going to test everybody as soon as we can reasonably do so. Once our baseline is established, we will institute ongoing surveillance testing in the same manner as nursing homes in order to maintain the safest possible living and work environment.”
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact prison operations in Wyoming, even though the virus itself has been kept at bay. Size of groupings continues to be restricted. Face coverings are required when indoors or within six feet of others. Increased sanitation, frequent hand washing and hand sanitation are the norm. All persons accessing any of the correctional institutions are screened prior to entry. Access by volunteers continues to be suspended. Family visitation also remains suspended although inmates have been given access to two free phone calls per week and scheduled access to video visitation has also been implemented.