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Spanish version: Emergency_COVID-19_actions__05022020_SPANISH

We are taking emergency actions to ensure the safety of everyone at our correctional facilities, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Public Health – Seattle & King County.

We are working with each of our partners in the criminal justice system – courts, public defenders, prosecutors, corrections, and law enforcement – to quickly and safely decrease the number of people who are in custody to provide our staff more opportunities to ensure everyone’s health and safety. The number of youth at the Children and Family Justice Center is already low enough that each youth has their own individual dorm room where our staff provides individualized care.

We will post updates and the latest data on this website each weekday and answer frequently asked questions.

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Correctional facilities dashboard - Updated weekly*

Numbers reported as of 10/29/2020

Testing conducted to date **

Adult Inmates

Unique patients tested

1377

Positive test results

27

Youth Residents

Unique patients tested

17

Positive test results

1

Snapshot of people at correctional facilities

Adult Inmates

Confirmed cases

3

Youth Residents

Confirmed cases

0

Population summary

Adult Inmates

Population on March 13, 2020

1,899

Current population

1417

Change in population

-482

Youth Residents

Population on March 13, 2020

43

Current population

19

Change in population

-24

* As November 2021, the data in this chart will be updated weekly on Tuesdays.

 

** As of Oct. 30, 2020, the value ‘Unique Patients Tested’ reflects only positive and negative results; pending and incomplete results are excluded from the total. Earlier totals included pending and incomplete results, as well as some repeat tests.
 

For Family and Friends

We continue to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, in line with local, state and federal public health guidelines. Here is the status of visitation and other ongoing measures which may have changed over the course of the pandemic:

  • The Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent re-opened limited in-person public visitation on Oct. 24, 2022. (Visiting hours and other details are posted here.)
  • The King County Correctional Facility in Seattle re-opened for limited in-person public visitation as of Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. We are working to expand visitation opportunities over the coming months. (More details are posted on the FAQ page under "What are the visitation hours and guidelines for visiting an adult at the King County Correctional Facility.)
  • For youth in detention, we provide in-person visits by appointment with parents and legal guardians. In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, parents, guardians and other approved visitors will need to show proof of vaccination when checking in. All visitors and youth must wear a mask during visitation. If they do not have a mask, a mask will be provided. Visits will be allowed in the no-contact room for parents, guardians and other approved visitors who do not have proof of vaccination.
  • We offer video visits at no cost. Contact Securus Video Visitation at 1-877-578-3658 or go to www.videovisitanywhere.com to sign up for “Anywhere Video Visitation.” Youth also can make free phone calls to parents and guardians. 
  • We set up a designated housing unit at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent where we provide appropriate care in medical isolation to anyone who is not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 but is considered a high risk for severe complications based on CDC complications.
  • We have increased cleaning at all facilities.

For News Media

This website, which we update each weekday, is the best source for the latest information on COVID-19 actions at the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. Click here for department news releases.

  • King County operates two adult facilities – the King County Correctional Facility in downtown Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent – and one youth facility, the Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle.
  • The courts, not jails, determine how long someone is in custody. We are working with courts – as well as public defenders, prosecutors, corrections, and law enforcement – to quickly and safely decrease the number of people who are in custody to provide our staff with the best opportunity to keep everyone healthy and safe.
  • If you have questions regarding correctional operations -- including changes in the population, booking restrictions, programs, and visitation -- please contact the DAJD Public Information Officer at DAJDMediaInquiries@kingcounty.gov.
  • If you have questions regarding Jail Health Services -- including testing, personal protective equipment, medical isolation, and contact tracing -- please contact the Public Health Information Office at PHPIO@kingcounty.gov.
  • For an overview of actions King County is taking to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, visit kingcounty.gov/covid.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: No. The courts, not jails, determine how long someone is in custody. However, we are working with courts -- along with public defenders, prosecutors, corrections, and law enforcement -- to quickly and safely decrease the number of people who are brought to correctional facilities, prioritizing bed space for those who pose an imminent risk to public safety. That has significantly reduced the average daily population, providing our staff with more opportunities to practice social distancing as recommended by Public Health -- Seattle & King County.

A: The population is lower because fewer people are being booked into jails. The courts are still releasing people from custody just as they always have, so the average daily population has significantly decreased as courts, public defenders, prosecutors, and law enforcement prioritize bed space for those who pose an imminent risk to public safety.

A: Most people in our community have been exposed to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, and the same is true for employees with the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. We have been connecting each employee with available resources and taking precautions to keep infected employees out of the workplace. From early 2020 through Dec. 1, 2022, 588 staff members at the department had reported testing positive for COVID-19. This figure reflected the total number of cases as of that date, with some individuals counted more than once if they reported repeat infections.

A: We will transfer them to a designated housing unit at the Maleng Regional Justice Center where we will provide appropriate care in medical isolation using personal protective equipment. Jail Health Services will transfer them to a hospital for further care if their needs exceed Jail Health Service’s ability to provide appropriate care.

Based on CDC guidelines, they will only be released from the designated COVID-19 housing unit after a healthcare provider determines that they are no longer exhibiting symptoms or 14 days after the onset of the illness, whichever is longer.

A: The population at the Children and Family Justice Center is already low enough that each youth has their own individual dorm room where our health care providers and other staff members are able to provide individualized care. 

We are working with the Superior Court, Juvenile Probation, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Public Defense to identify any youth who might qualify for release in order to further reduce the number of youth at the Children and Family Justice Center as part of our emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A: Yes, we are providing all staff members with procedure masks. Everyone in custody receives cloth masks or procedure masks, depending on their medical status and location.
A: If someone is in a situation that calls for an N95 mask, face mask, or any type of personal protective equipment – based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – then we provide it to them. We closely monitor supply levels each day to make sure that everyone has the appropriate equipment they need to keep everyone in our facilities healthy and safe.

A: A droplet precaution is a standard practice recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through what are known as droplets, fluids that are spread through coughing and sneezing. It’s the same precaution we take to prevent the spread of influenza. If someone exhibits symptoms of an infectious disease known to be spread by droplets, we place them in an isolated individual room where our staff provides them with appropriate care while wearing personal protective equipment to avoid any potential spread of infection.

We place a mask on the person in custody during transfers and anytime they are receiving care. If the person tests positive for COVID-19 or any other infectious disease, we would continue to isolate them from the general population and staff until they are no longer exhibiting symptoms and have been cleared by a medical provider to return to the general population.

A: We transfer people who are at a higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19 – 60 and older with underlying health conditions – but who are not symptomatic to a designated housing unit at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent where we provide appropriate care in medical isolation using personal protective equipment.

A: Yes, if the patient’s condition exceeds the ability of our health staff to meet their needs, we will transfer them to a higher level of appropriate care at a medical center.

A: We are working with our partners in the criminal justice system to further reduce the adult population, providing our staff with the best opportunities to promote social distancing. That also makes it possible for our staff to continue providing appropriate care in medical isolation for people who are considered most vulnerable to severe complications. 

We have cancelled public visitation and now offer video visits at no cost, reducing the likelihood of a visitor introducing the virus at our facilities. We also cancelled group activities at adult correctional facilities. We are exploring options to continue access to programs, such as education and religious services, that still promote social distancing. In the meantime, staff will offer increased access to other existing recreational programs and activities, including cards, games, books, movies and recreation yard as appropriate.

A: Every person in custody who arrives at one of our correctional facilities receives a health screening and is tested for COVID-19.