PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The secretary of the South Dakota Department of Health said the women’s prison in Pierre continues to care for one inmate who has COVID-19.
During a briefing on Monday, Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said there remains just one inmate at the South Dakota Women’s Prison who has tested positive.
On March 26, the South Dakota Department of Corrections said on its website that the female inmate with COVID-19 was in isolation. The inmate was part of the Pierre Community Work Center (PCWC). The DOC said on March 26 that 155 inmates who are also part of the PCWC were under observation.
The female inmate COVID-19 case comes as the DOC is preparing to expand the medical facility in the Jameson Annex, which is part of the men’s prison complex in Sioux Falls.
“The inmate population and patient encounters have increased over the years since the Jameson Annex opened in 1993,” Michael Winder, communications and information manager for the DOC said in an email to KELOLAND News. “This project provides the needed space to provide clinic, dental and infirmary care for the increased inmate population. ”
The project was approved by the state Legislature in 2019. The pre-bid meeting is set for April 1 with bid opening April 15, Winder said.
“The DOC has emergency plans in place to address incidents like COVID-19,” Winder said. “This expansion will enhance the department’s response capabilities for events like COVID-19 in the future and other health care needs.”
The project will increase the number of infirmary beds from eight to 20 as well as increase overall infirmary space by 1,000 square feet from 1,920 to 2,9020, according to information on the DOC website.
The medical facility will expand overall by 8,000 square feet.
All admissions require a health intake assessment, which is completed in the Jameson Annex’s medical facility, according to the DOC website.
The Jameson Annex opened in 1993 with 288 beds. It now has 531 inmate beds, but there has been no growth in the medical facilities over that time, the DOC said on its website.