Skyview Unit on lockdown as COVID-19 case numbers reach five

by Cristin Parker

April 24, 2020 -- Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) officials are reporting five employee positive cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Skyview Unit in Rusk at this time. No inmate cases have been reported at Skyview, nor have there been any cases in either inmates or employees reported at the Hodge Unit.

“In total there are 265 TDCJ employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 693 offenders who have tested positive,” TDCJ officials reported on the department’s website. “There are now 15 employees and 47 offenders who have medically recovered from COVID-19.

“17,295 offenders are on medical restriction because they may have had contact with either an employee or offender with a positive or pending COVID-19 test.”

Skyview is now on lockdown, along with the Baten, Bell, Beto, Byrd, Carole Young, Clements, Crain, Darrington, Eastham, Ellis, Estelle, Fort Stockton, Garza West, Gist, Goree, Gurney, Hodge, Hughes, Hutchins, Jester 1, Jordan, Leblanc, Lopez, Lynaugh, Michael, Middleton, Murray, Pack, Ramsey, Robertson, Sanchez, Scott, Smith, Stiles, Stringfellow, Telford, Terrell, Woodman and Wynne units – impacting 45,210 offenders.

The precautionary lockdowns extend for 14 days from the date of a positive test. Those dates may be extended to the date of the most recent positive test.

TDCJ reports there have been seven inmate deaths related to the virus.

“There are an additional six deaths that are under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results,” TDCJ’s website states. “Two other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.”