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PSD NEWS RELEASE – Department of Public Safety COVID-19 update for 9/17/20

Posted on Sep 17, 2020 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD) Health Care Division is working with the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide. The broad-based testing, administered by PSD Health Care staff, started on Tuesday (9/15/20) at the Waiawa Correctional Facility (WCF).  The first batch of test results have come in for 152 inmates.  All 152 were negative. There are 77 pending results.

“These test results are a testament to how hard the Waiawa staff and PSD health care staff have worked to prepare and implement the pandemic plan.  We are encouraged by the first batch results and await the rest of the tests,” said Maria Cook, Deputy Director for Administration/Acting Director. “I want to thank the Waiawa warden and his staff, our PSD Health Care Division administrator and his medical staff, and acknowledge the preventative measures that Director Nolan Espinda instructed be put in place in February, when the pandemic first started showing up in Hawaii.”

The test results are anticipated to take 3 days to receive. The order of the facilities next in line for testing is still being worked out.  PSD is also working with DOH and the Hawaii National Guard to coordinate the testing of correctional officers and staff.

Efforts to contain the outbreak at the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) are working.  PSD received 102 inmate test results from DOH-led mass testing at the facility. Of the 102, only 5 were positive and 97 negative. There are currently no inmates hospitalized. Of the 11 staff tests results received 1 was positive. Staff recoveries increased to 66.

Total PSD COVID-19 active and recovered cases as of 9/17/20: 

HCCC 0 0 0 0
KCCC 0 0 0 0
MCCC 0 0 0 0
OCCC 29 58 19 278
HCF 1 2 0 1
KCF 1 0 0 0
WCCC 0 2 0 0
WCF 0 2 0 0
TOTAL** 38 66 19 279

*Administration Division includes administrative services, fiscal, personnel, training and staff development and the offices under the Director.

**Numbers are subject to change as pending results are received.  The total number of positive and negative tests to date can be found on PSD’s COVID-19 information website.

  • The inmate releases directed through the Hawaii Supreme Court (HSC) orders are on-going. The lists of names/criminal case numbers for defendants released on 9/16/20 per HSC court order, are attached.
  • All transports to court from all Oahu facilities are suspended through Friday, September 18. Video hearings will still be accommodated to the extent possible and as legally permissible. PSD is in constant contact with the Judiciary to assure the safety of all staff and inmates involved.

PSD staff continue to practice recommended precautions for the health and safety of the public, our staff and the inmates under our supervision including the use of proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). All facilities have been issued PPE and routinely keep an inventory of PPE for continuous distribution to staff as recommended in the Pandemic Plan.  Each employee has been issued several face masks.  Face shields have been issued to all facilities for distribution to staff as added protection. Staff have access to gloves and other protective supplies, available all over the facility.

For more information on PSD’s planning and response to COVID-19, inmate testing data, and information detailing the efforts made to safeguard the inmates, staff and public, visit our webpage at:

Toni Schwartz
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Public Safety
Office: 808-587-1358
Cell: 808-683-5507
[email protected]