The Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility remained on modified lockdown Sunday following an inmate falling seriously ill, but the prison will resume normal operations Monday, Director of the Bureau of Corrections Julius Wilson said.
As of Sunday, movement was still being controlled at the prison and inmates were restricted to common areas and housing units. Normal food service operations resumed, but guards were escorting housing units individually.
All programs, services, activities and visits were to resume Monday, Wilson said.
Officials put the prison under lockdown Friday after an inmate fell ill, complaining of loss of appetite, stomach and muscular pain. Medication for the symptoms proved ineffective and staff transferred the inmate to the Juan F. Luis Memorial Hospital Thursday night.
Wilson said the case was isolated, but all precautions were taken to ensure inmate and staff safety. For that reason, the Bureau of Corrections put its Emergency Operational Plan into action and placed the facility on lockdown, suspending all inmate movement, activities, visits and programs until physicians diagnosed the inmate’s illness and assessed its potential to spread through the prison’s population.
The prison’s medical staff is still waiting for the results from lab samples that were sent to an off-island laboratory, according to BOC officials.
The Department of Health assisted in augmenting the BOC medical staff in the treatment, counseling and dissemination of information to staff and inmates.
Based on the symptoms and prior knowledge of the inmate’s medical history, the inmate is believed to be suffering from meningitis, according to medical staff.
Meningitis can be caused by viral or bacterial or other microorganisms. Bacterial and viral meningitis are contagious, although according to the Centers for Disease Control, neither is as contagious as the common cold or flu. Both can be transmitted through droplets of respiratory secretions during close contact, but cannot be spread by only breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been. Meningitis can be life-threatening because it causes an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges.