Following the Department of Corrections' announcement on a recruit testing positive for COVID-19, many inmates and detainees are worried about their health, and family members have reached out to KUAM on their behalf.

DOC Major Antone Aguon confirms the recruits are in the "on the job training" stage of their cycle. According to Aguon, the recruit who tested positive yesterday, was station inside the DOC Mangilao compound in the Dome Area which houses parole violators, court paroles and local detainees.

"It is a concern, the director and the deputy director are taking this very seriously and it is a concern, again we are doing everything we can within our power to prevent it from entering our facility," he said.

As an immediate response to the confirmed case, all 38 recruits were asked to self quarantine at home. "We are still looking into it but we don't believe this particular could have had contact with all the recruits, because they are all spread out through different shifts and different areas throughout the department. So it's possible that he did not come in contact with all of that, they are not together. But being that they are recruits they may have come in contact...but we don't think that at this time," he explained.

 

Aguon says he spoke with the training officer yesterday and there have not been any further reports of additional recruits presenting symptoms. He says the same for all the inmates and detainees.

During KUAM's Containing COVID special report interview with Major Aguon this morning, he says that since the first measures were implemented last month, DOC continues to provide necessary hygiene and cleaning solutions, and there are mandates in place for all DOC personnel to wear masks and gloves.

"We have given the units cleaning supplies, we put the bleach in some spray bottles and we are getting our supplies, of course we have to be mindful of the limitations that we have, but every unit is equipped with bleach and they wipe down all the furniture and all the other areas. The officers all have masks and are given gloves," he shared.

However a family member of an incarcerated individual says otherwise through an anonymous comment sent to KUAM stating, "Major Aguon lied when he said they were passing out cleaning materials. Inmates don't even currently have toilet tissue, let alone cleaning supplies or other hygienic products which the department is supposed to supply. The department has cancelled all incoming, which is the only way we receive any hygienic products, among other things that we're allowed, from our families." Adding, "The guards have to provide their own masks and gloves. Most didn't even wear any until today. Something needs to be done to help us. We're still humans, after all."

In response to a potential outbreak in the prison, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero says she trusts her acting department head Joe Carbullido to contain a spread. "And as far as the inmates you know I trust that Joe Carbullido and Bob Camacho are up there providing for the safety and the health and the hygienic environment of our inmate so I will follow up with them but I trust that they are doing what they need to do to keep also the inmates and also their employees safe and minimize exposure and risk," she said.