The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) continues to launch new initiatives and fine-tune existing protocols to keep the COVID-19 virus out of its facilities. This includes mandating staff testing for COVID-19 every two weeks and offering additional options for communications between offenders and their families.

“Our goal is to mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 through rigorous testing and the implementation of deliberate and pro-active protocols,” said Charles Daniels, NDOC Director. “I am proud of our staff who work tirelessly and selflessly to ensure the safety and welfare of fellow staff members and our offenders.”

NDOC tested all staff earlier in the year, and then starting August 3 modified this procedure to test staff every two weeks at the facility where they work.

“The most likely way that COVID-19 enters our facility is from staff, and that is why we check everyone’s temperature and conduct a risk assessment before allowing them into a facility,” said Michael Minev, NDOC’s Medical Director. “It was determined in the interest of public, staff, and offender safety to add another layer of protection, and that is why we are now testing staff every two weeks. Identifying staff who have COVID-19 and removing them from our facilities strengthens the firewall we have established during the pandemic.”

These new initiatives and the fine-tuning of existing protocols are working as Nevada continues to have one of the lowest offender positivity rates in the nation.

NDOC tested its entire offender population of 12,282 for COVID-19 during May and June, with only 23 – or .19% of all offenders – testing positive. NDOC is currently conducting a second round of testing and has received results from 4,083 offenders, with three testing positive for a rate of .07%. The majority of the 26 offenders who tested positive during rounds one and two were recent transfers from Nevada detention centers who were diagnosed while in NDOC’s intake units. As of today, 23 have tested negative for the virus and transitioned into NDOC’s general population.