New outbreak causes cases to spike at BKCC

Published 6:04 am Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Buckingham County is once again seeing a large coronavirus outbreak in one of its correctional centers.

Although the county has been seeing an increase in community spread in recent weeks, data from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) shows Buckingham has seen 49 new coronavirus cases in the last week alone, from Monday, Nov. 2, to Monday, Nov. 9, bringing the county’s cumulative number of cases since the pandemic began to 813.

The cause of the dramatic spike appears to be a recent COVID-19 outbreak at Buckingham Correctional Center (BKCC), which according to the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) website includes 45 COVID-positive offenders on site and four active staff cases of the virus.

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At the beginning of the pandemic, BKCC and the nearby Dillwyn Correctional Center (DCC), also located in Buckingham County, saw simultaneous, large outbreaks that led to hundreds of positive cases and multiple inmate deaths.

BKCC saw its fourth and latest inmate coronavirus death back in June at the same time the correctional center’s initial outbreak was drawing to a close.

Gregory Carter, deputy director of communications for VDOC, said Friday, Nov. 6, a positive case among staff was reported at BKCC Oct. 24, and a positive case among inmates was reported Oct. 26.

Buckingham County Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Davis said Monday that VDOC representatives first alerted the county to an uptick in cases Oct. 25, and that the outbreak has been indicated by the department to be due to a round of point prevalence testing.

On Monday, Carter added further point prevalence testing at BKCC is scheduled for Friday, November 13.

“To the citizens, I would just like to reiterate my confidence in VDOC’s ability to handle this issue appropriately,” Davis said. “I also believe this is a good opportunity to remind everyone to continue practicing the personal safety measures put out by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and VDH.”

VDOC was not reporting any new COVID-19 cases out of DCC on Monday.

On Monday, Prince Edward County was listed as having a cumulative total of 799 cases of COVID-19, up 16 from Nov. 2.

Cumberland County sat at 133 cumulative cases Monday afternoon, up six from last week. Charlotte rose 15 cases to 240 and Lunenburg saw one new case to bring the county’s total case count since the beginning of the pandemic to 157.