Springfield’s Fed Med hit hard by COVID-19 outbreak
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield is experiencing a spike in cases of COVID-19.
Prison officials report four inmate deaths. According to the Bureau of Prisons, the virus has infected 176 inmates and 34 staff members. Of all federal prison facilities, staff at Fed Med report the third highest number of inmate cases in the country. The prison recently reopened to visitors.
KY3 News spoke with Kimyatta Collins a few months ago. She shared concern about her brother, Kentorre Hall, who is paralyzed from the neck down. She says he relies on others for almost everything and can’t do anything to protect himself from the virus. He is serving a life sentence for federal drug and gun crimes. Collins says she and her family have filed for a compassionate release multiple times, most recently just a couple of months ago, but prison officials denied the request. She says just in the past month, a nurse taking care of her brother tested positive for COVID-19. He remains negative.
“We just need guarantees, and if they can’t give us guarantees, I think that at this moment, considering what’s going on and most definitely in their facility, I think that this is the time they should grant the compassionate release,” said Collins.
The Bureau of Prisons did not respond to our request for comment Monday morning. Prison officials told us a few months ago, all staff members are screened before entering and all staff and inmates are required to wear face coverings.
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