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McGovern, Trahan Request that Bureau of Prisons Take Action to Mitigate Dangerous FMC Devens COVID-19 Outbreak

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Washington, January 6, 2021 | comments

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Representatives James P. McGovern (MA-02) and Lori Trahan (MA-03) and authored a letter to Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal requesting that he take immediate action to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 among inmates and staff at the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Devens.

“Staffing shortages and hospitalizations have helped to give rise to the COVID-19 cases among inmates and staff. Please permit on-site testing of staff, prohibit noncompliance with masking and other standard public health protocols, make full use of your authority under the law to transfer medically vulnerable individuals into home confinement, and continue appropriate use of compassionate release,” the lawmakers wrote.

“As of this writing, according to the Bureau’s own data, more than 260 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. With an inmate population of 739, it appears that 35 percent of the facility’s inmates have tested positive – with the bulk of the infections being reported in just the past 2 weeks,” the Representatives continued.

Trahan and McGovern specifically highlighted the importance of a response to the outbreak at the Devens facility given the health complications of its inmate population.

“Indeed, as you know, FMC Devens is among the Bureau’s several “Federal Medical Centers.” It provides care to inmates with a range of medical conditions before they are re-located to another correctional institution. The Bureau has a special duty of care to take robust precautions considering its immunocompromised population,” wrote Trahan and McGovern.

A digital copy of the letter is available HERE.

The Bureau of Prisons regularly updates the number of active cases at federal facilities, including FMC Devens. That data can be accessed by clicking HERE.

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