From Reporter Chase Cavanaugh:
The Federal Bureau of Prisons will no longer use its Thomson, Illinois facility as a coronavirus quarantine location for newly admitted inmates.
Previously, Thomson and 10 other locations would have quarantined these inmates for a few weeks. But a bipartisan letter to the Bureau from U.S. lawmakers raised the specter of transferred asymptomatic individuals becoming a source for new outbreaks. Illinois U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos explained.
“The entire Bureau of Prisons did not have a well thought out plan on this. They had 11 sites throughout the country, and in none of these transferred inmates were they planning to test before they were transferred.”
That list has now dropped to three sites. And prisoners being transferred to the remaining quarantine sites will be screened for COVID-19. Bustos says the lack of health care capacity in the Thomson area would put the health of prison staff, inmates, and the community in jeopardy if COVID-19 emerged there.