No positive results among recently tested NDCS inmates

No positive results among recently tested NDCS inmates


CONTACT Laura Strimple, Chief of Staff

OFFICE 402-479-5713 |


No positive results among recently tested NDCS inmates


June 16, 2020 (Lincoln, Neb.) – Of 400 men and women tested since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) only seven individuals within the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) have been positive. All seven of those individuals have recovered. The 400 individuals include those housed at the Community Corrections Center—Omaha (CCC-O), Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility (NCYF), Omaha Correctional Center (OCC) Community Corrections Center—Lincoln (CCC-L) and the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women (NCCW), who have been tested since last week as part of TestNebraska.

“The seven individuals who tested positive thus far represent 1.8 percent of the total number of people tested throughout our 10 facilities,” stated NDCS Director Scott R. Frakes. “Testing in our remaining facilities will continue through the end of the month.”

When TestNebraska expanded to allow all Nebraskans to be tested regardless of symptoms, inmates were also included. “Consistent with the community access to COVID-19 testing through TestNebraska, we offered testing to the incarcerated population,” explained Dir. Frakes. “Individuals can opt to undergo testing or not. So far, 230 individuals have requested to take part in the expanded testing program. None of those tests have come back positive.”

Dir. Frakes said the results affirmed the agency’s decision early-on to adopt measures designed to prevent transmission of the virus. “Certainly, one of those things was the decision to shut down visitation. We acknowledge that stopping face-to-face interactions with family members has been a hardship. It is unknown at this time when we will re-initiate the visitation program. We are considering what parameters will need to be in place, in order to make it safe for our inmate population and those who are coming in from the community.”

Dir. Frakes noted the agency is taking a cautionary, step-by-step approach to resuming normal operations. “The last thing we want to do is re-launch activities, furloughs, volunteer programs and other initiatives, which could result in a surge of COVID-19 cases. But, we continue to have discussions with our wardens daily and are working toward re-instituting some of the things that we had to shut down previously.” 

Measures implemented early on with inmates and NDCS team members will be part of the new normal going forward. That includes wearing of masks, taking temperatures of anyone entering an NDCS building, assessing symptoms, providing free bars of soap to inmates and hand sanitizer to staff members.

“These steps, in addition to adherence to our agency COVID plan, have served us well,” noted Dir. Frakes. “For businesses, organizations and other agencies, finding a way to appropriately manage this pandemic has been challenging. NDCS is no exception. We will continue to be vigilant in our response to COVID-19 going forward.”