Fourth staff member, first inmate at Lansing Correctional Facility test positive for COVID-19

TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Kansas Department of Corrections announced Saturday that a fourth staff member and an inmate at the Lansing Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff member is a man over the age of 20 and the inmate is a man over the age 50. No other information will be released about the patients.

As with the cases on March 31, the KDOC has been in consultation with officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on next steps to address these circumstances. Additional steps taken today include:

• Reduced movement of residents so that they will remain in their units, but are not locked down in cells

• Necessary movement to recreation or jobs will occur primarily in groups, or cohorts, from the same unit

• Staffing has been modified due to increased absences

“The additional steps today illustrate our continued effort to follow all guidelines issued by public health officials,” Zmuda said. “We appreciate the continued support and guidance of KDHE and Governor Laura Kelly, as we conduct our work in these challenging times.”

The Lansing Correctional Facility, formerly the Kansas State Penitentiary, opened in 1867 during the presidency of Andrew Johnson and is the oldest and largest state correctional facility in Kansas. Serving only males, the facility capacity is 1,906 offenders.
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The Kansas Department of Corrections confirms three staff members working at Lansing Correctional Facility (in Leavenworth County in northeast Kansas) tested positive for COVID-19.

"These are the first positive cases within a KDOC facility," the department says.

The KDOC says identifies the three workers who tested positive for the virus as a man "over the age of 20" and two women "over the age of 40."

"The KDOC has been in consultation with officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on next steps to address these circumstances," the department says.