A mass round of COVID-19 testing throughout Texas Department of Criminal Justice units revealed an outbreak at Rosharon’s Darrington unit, Spokesman Jeremy Desel said.
A total of 192 Darrington inmates were announced as positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, according to the TDCJ COVID-19 dashboard.
A second round of mass testing asymptomatic inmates finished July 22, Desel said in an email.
“Results from those tests are the majority of those cases. Asymptomatic offenders,” he said. “They are now in medical isolation and screened for symptoms at least twice daily by medical staff.”
The virus has also spread to 41 Darrington employees total, 20 who have recovered.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1,091 Brazoria County prisoners and 217 employees have tested positive for the virus, according to the data.
Of the 107 TDCJ prisoners who’ve died in Texas, 6.4 percent were housed in Brazoria County — two Scott unit inmates in Angleton and five Terrell Unit inmates in Rosharon, according to agency data.
Despite Clemens, Scott and Stringfellow Units having no active cases amongst inmates, all six county units have at least five employees who are actively infected with COVID-19, according to agenda data.
Rosharon’s Ramsey Unit has had the most documented cases of COVID-19 with 392 — 336 inmates and 56 employees. Seventeen inmates and 18 employees are still considered active cases, TDCJ data shows.
Terrell unit has 12 inmates with active cases and 272 have recovered. Thirteen of the unit’s employees are still infected and 20 have recovered.
Scott has recorded 104 inmates and 28 employees to contract COVID-19 with six employees remaining active.
Stringfellow has had 62 inmates and 33 employees test positive with 14 workers with active cases.
Clemens is the only unit in the county that has more employees to test positive than inmates, with 26 and 24, respectively. No prisoners and five employees still have active infections, data shows.
Clemens, Scott and Stringfellow have been removed from lockdown.
Facilities have maintained a near-identical death rate as residents outside prison — 0.06 percent of those imprisoned compared to 0.07 percent outside.
In the Terrell Unit, the death rate is more than 1.7 percent of all reported cases.
TDCJ has not reported a prisoner’s death in the county since June 11 and statewide since July 16, according to agency data.
TDCJ hospitalizations have remained “steady” at Hospital Galveston with 49 patients under care as of Thursday, UTMB Senior Communications Specialist Kurt Koopmann said.
“We haven’t seen an increase,” Koopmann said. “It has been in the 40s mostly for the month. We had one in July where we were in the 50s, but we are not overwhelmed.”
Hospital numbers for TDCJ patients have slightly increased from Tuesday when they had 44 admitted patients, Koopmann said.
County officials have not reported any deaths amongst TDCJ employees, Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said.