Big Spring, TX: The Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Big Spring, has begun mass testing for COVID-19. In addition, inmates are also having their temperatures taken twice daily and receive assessments for COVID-19 symptoms. These actions allow FCI Big Spring to better manage the transmission of COVID-19 by identifying inmates who are asymptomatic and unknowingly carrying the virus, which is key to mitigating the spread of the virus. An additional benefit of this proactive strategy is federal inmates who are COVID-19 positive are not transferring to court and other Bureau of Prisons’ facilities.
Mass testing of the inmate population at FCI Big Spring may increase the number of COVID-19 positive cases reflected on the Bureau of Prisons’ public website as well as create an upsurge in positive cases for Howard County. While a number of inmates are testing positive for COVID-19, the majority of these inmates are exhibiting mild to no symptoms. FCI Big Spring has medical staff on call 24-hours a day.
FCI Big Spring has an ample supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Staff are provided the appropriate levels of PPE (i.e. masks, gowns, eye protection, and gloves) when entering isolation/quarantine units, and during enhanced staff screenings. Cloth face-coverings were issued to all staff and inmates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) informational flyers are posted throughout the institution and on the inmate email system, in both English and Spanish. FCI Big Spring continuously provides educational information on hand washing, coughing/sneezing etiquette, as well as cleaning and sanitizing procedures. Additional information is also provided to assist inmates and staff with self-reporting symptoms of COVID-19.
FCI Big Spring continues to work in partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services Region 9/10 (El Paso/Midland) and ensures CDC guidance is closely followed.
FCI Big Spring is committed to the health and welfare of our staff, the inmates entrusted to our care, and the surrounding communities. Our staff are vested in ensuring public safety and continue to diligently and safely carry out their responsibilities. Our highest priority is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The Bureau of Prisons will continue to provide daily updates and information related to COVID-19 operations at www.bop.gov/coronavirus/index.jsp.