May 10, 2022
Corrections on top of Covid wave
Corrections has had to deal with more than 2000 cases of Covid-19 in prisons, the majority of them since the arrival of the Omicron variant earlier this year.
There are currently 198 active cases.
Deputy Chief Executive Māori Topia Rameka says one of the biggest impacts has been staffing, and prisons have run smaller and tighter rosters to cover for those who are isolated.
He says the main strategy has been encouraging high rates of vaccination, especially when people come in.
“I think we are sitting on about 80 per cent first vaccination, 65 to 70 per cent second vaccination but that number is always changing because of traffic in and out. Fingers crossed no one has been significantly impacting, there is no one who has had to be taken to hospital or anything like that because we have got great health practitioners on the ground in all of our sites,” Mr Rameka says.
Māori health providers have been particularly helpful in getting inmates jabbed and boosted.