63 House of Correction inmates tested positive for COVID-19, along with 3 employees

Milwaukee County House of Correction

Milwaukee County House of Correction

FRANKLIN — The superintendent of the Milwaukee County House of Correction on Monday, April 20 reported 63 positive cases of the coronavirus among inmates, with 17 tests pending. Three House of Correction employees tested positive, as well.

A team of citizen soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard was sent to the HOC Saturday, April 18 to establish a mobile testing site to collect specimens from staff and inmates there. More than 600 inmates were tested, with results expected to come back through Wednesday, April 22. Staff members were also being tested, with testing continuing until Wednesday morning.

“They conducted those tests on Saturday and Sunday,” said Michael Hafemann, HOC superintendent. “The inmates that were in custody, everybody was tested except one. We did have one refusal and that individual refused to test based on their religious beliefs.”

Wisconsin National Guard mobile testing unit

Of the inmates who tested positive, Hafemann said 62 are male and one is female. As of Monday, 62 were being housed at the House of Correction, while one remained at home — on electronic monitoring.

“We do anticipate we are going to have a lot more inmates who test positive,” said Hafemann. “We only have a small portion of the test results in at this point.”

Hafemann said in addition to the three staff members who tested positive, 11 were “presumed positive” by health care providers — exhibiting all the symptoms of the virus, but their health care providers decided not to test them — instead telling them to assume they are positive for the virus.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced Friday, April 17 that Milwaukee County launched a new COVID-19 dashboard, focused exclusively on providing data about individuals who are currently in the care of Milwaukee County. CLICK HERE to access that dashboard.

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