Over the past month, covid19 has blazed through NC prisons like wildfire. 
Across DPS facilities, over 600 people have tested positive — roughly the same number of cases in all of Wayne County, which has a population that is 3x larger. One person (at Pender C.I) has already died of complications, and a single facility (Neuse C.I.) has a mind-boggling 466 positive cases.
The reason Neuse has so many confirmed cases is that DPS decided to test everyone there–and they should do the same at all facilities with significant numbers of positive cases, such as NCCI Women, where 81 people have tested positive so far. This is the only way to know the full scale of the outbreak and to be able to take appropriate measures to mitigate further spread.  
Please call Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee on Thursday, April 30 to demand universal testing at four hard-hit prisons!

Hello, my name is ___. I’m calling because Commissioner Ishee needs to direct Caledonia CI, Bertie CI, Pasquotank CI, and NCCIW to immediately begin testing their entire inmate populations for covid19.  Currently, at Caledonia 17 people have tested positive, at Pasquotank 19 have tested positive, at Bertie 10 have tested positive, and at NCCI Women, the outbreak has already reached disastrous proportions with 81 cases confirmed. 

As soon as widespread testing was done at Neuse CI, dozens of confirmed cases became hundreds overnight. We know how quickly this virus spreads, especially at close quarters, so any delay in testing is unconscionable. Facilities staff say they don’t have the authority to make this decision, so Ishee is the one who needs to act. On April 22 after the first person in DPS custody died from complications of covid, Ishee told the press “Any death is a tragedy, and we must continue our efforts to do all we can to try and flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Prisons.”  Ishee needs to listen to his own advice and take action to avoid future tragedies by beginning universal testing at NCCIW, Caledonia, Bertie, and Pasquotank NOW!
Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons:
Phone: 919-838-4000
House Phone:  (330)544-4425
Email: todd.ishee@ncdps.gov