LANSING, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed the coronavirus is contained at the Lansing Correctional Facility, according to Secretary Jeff Zmuda, Kansas Department of Corrections.
Secretary Zmuda thanked KDHE and the Kansas National Guard in a news release Tuesday.
“We were extremely impressed with their willingness and ability to adapt to their new surroundings and face each task with strength and dignity,” he said. “On behalf of the department, I want to sincerely thank them for their work.”
Kansas National Guard members first arrived at Lansing on April 15 and since grew to 40 percent of members. The members helped with monitoring symptoms from inmates and having twice-daily virus testing.
“Secretary Lee Norman and Phil Griffin, Director of the Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention at KDHE, have been amazing partners to our agency,” Zmuda said. “They have brought the health expertise that we needed to make sure that our staff received the most up-to-date information on the virus and how to keep the men, women and youth in our care safe.”
With the facility returning back to normal, so does the lives of inmates and staff. Activities like food service jobs, laundry and maintenance will start to look similar to life before the pandemic.
Activities that expose the inmates to the community such visitations, volunteers, mentors and non-essential private industry jobs are being put on pause.
“While we are resuming many activities, we fully recognize that this virus will still be present for the foreseeable future, so we plan to maintain the mitigation strategies that have been implemented at each of our facilities,” Zmuda said. “This resumption of activities is a first step to normalizing operations at Lansing, but one we will do with an abundance of caution and care.”