Coronavirus Infection Rates

April 8th, 2020

Posted: April 10, 2020; based upon April 10, 2020 reported cases

The positive cases in Massachusetts increased today, including a sharp rise in cases at MCI-Framingham:

Posted: April 8, 2020; based upon April 7, 2020 reported cases

These are alarming trends in infection rates comparing the rates of spread of COVID-19 in the general population of Massachusetts with Massachusetts prisons among both prisoners and corrections officers.* Many lives are at immediate risk. Right now, the known infection rate (although we have dozens of reports of sick prisoners and officers who have not been tested) of prisoners in the MA DOC is higher than the infection rate in the hardest-hit region of Italy – Lombardy.

The infection rate in the general population of Massachusetts (that we are aware of) is about 0.22%, while in state prisoners it is reported to be about 2.6 times higher (0.57%) than for all people in Massachusetts (and a staggering 5.8% at the Massachusetts Treatment Center – more than 26 times the general population.) The rate is about 1.5 times higher (0.33%) for DOC employees than the general population, not including prison medical staff. If we look at the track of institutions in NYC and Chicago, we know that this number will rise without immediate, decisive action. The increased rate of infection for correctional officers puts their families and communities at greater risk.

*based upon most recent publicly available MA census data, DOC weekly population counts, and a DOC employee count of 5,200.