TOPEKA – Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) Secretary Jeff Zmuda announced Monday that one staff member working at Ellsworth Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19. This is the sixth KDOC facility with confirmed cases, including Lansing Correctional Facility, Wichita Work Release Facility, Topeka Correctional Facility, Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex at Larned and El Dorado Correctional Facility.
The staff member is a male over the age of 50. In order to protect the identity of the staff member, no other information will be released.
The KDOC has been in consultation with officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on next steps to address these circumstances. As a result of that consultation with KDHE, the following steps are being implemented immediately:
• KDHE conducted contact tracing to determine who among our staff and residents have been in close contact with this individual
• The Ellsworth County Health Department conducted contact tracing to identify anyone outside of ECF who may have been in close contact with this individual and will notify those persons
• KDOC will remain diligent in monitoring other staff and residents for symptoms
“With this being the first-reported case in Ellsworth County, I want to reassure the community that we will be diligent in our efforts to mitigate the effects this virus has on our staff and population,” Zmuda said. “We are working very closely with KDHE and will continue to follow their guidance on the best ways to manage a virus like COVID-19 within the prison setting.”
The Ellsworth Correctional Facility opened in 1988. Serving only males, the Central Unit provides housing for 820 multi-custody residents and the East Unit provides housing for 95 minimum-custody residents.
For current information on COVID-19 in Kansas, and to sign up for updates, go to the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center at kdhe.ks.gov/coronavirus. For information on the KDOC’s response to COVID-19, visit https://www.doc.ks.gov/kdoc-coronavirus-updates.