COVID Case Watch October 28th, 2020

This graph shows confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 per 1,000 individuals in the prison and general populations in each state as of October 28, 2020. The left side (orange) refers to the prison population and the right side (blue) refers to the general population. 

The rate of COVID in the general population is 26.61 per 1,000 individuals. In the prison population (in state prisons), the rate is 113.35 per 1,000 individuals. This means that, on average, the rate of COVID infections in prison populations is 4.26 times the rate of COVID infections in the general population. Arkansas, Kansas, and Vermont continue to have a prison infection rate that is over 10 times that of the general population. 

Despite a surge of COVID cases in the general population this month, in 45 of the 50 US states, the rate of COVID infections among those imprisoned exceeds the rate of COVID infections among the general population. As cases have risen in the Midwest, the general population of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have seen an increase in case rates of 4.9-7.9 per 1,000 in the past week. However, the case rates in Midwestern prisons have increased much more. Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin prisons have seen an increase in case rates in the past week of 54 per 1,000, 16 per 1,000, 302 per 1,000, and 38 per 1,000, respectively. 

Importantly, states have varying testing strategies within prisons and for their general population, indicating that these rates likely reflect a falsely low disease incidence with some states’ rates being more accurate than others.

COVID Case Watch October 21, 2020

This graph shows confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 per 1,000 individuals in the prison and general populations in each state as of October 21, 2020. The left side (orange) refers to the prison population and the right side (blue) refers to the general population. 

The rate of COVID in the general population is 25.06 per 1,000 individuals. In the prison population, the rate is 106.84 per 1,000 individuals. This means that, on average, the rate of COVID infections in prison populations is 4.26 times the rate of COVID infections in the general population. Arkansas, Kansas, and Vermont continue to have a prison infection rate that is over 10 times that of the general population. In 42 of the 50 US states, the rate of COVID infections among those imprisoned exceeds the rate of COVID infections among the general population.

Importantly, states have varying testing strategies within prisons and for their general population, indicating that these rates likely reflect a falsely low disease incidence with some states’ rates being more accurate than others.

COVID Case Watch October 14-15, 2020

This graph shows confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 per 1,000 individuals in the prison and general populations in each state as of October 14 and 15, 2020.* The left side (orange) refers to the prison population and the right side (blue) refers to the general population. 

The rate of COVID in the general population is 23.81 per 1,000 individuals. In the prison population, the rate is 103.49 per 1,000 individuals. This means that, on average, the rate of COVID infections in prison populations is 4.35 times the rate of COVID infections in the general population. Arkansas, Kansas, and Vermont have a prison infection rate that is over 10 times that of the general population. In 41 of the 50 US states, the rate of COVID infections among those imprisoned exceeds the rate of COVID infections among the general population.

Importantly, states have varying testing strategies within prisons and for their general population, indicating that these rates likely reflect a falsely low disease incidence with some states’ rates being more accurate than others.

*Based on when data is updated, general population data is from October 14th and state prison data is from both October 14th and October 15th

COVID Case Watch September 30, 2020

This graph shows confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 per 1,000 individuals in the prison and general populations in each state as of September 30, 2020. The left side (orange) refers to the prison population and the right side (blue) refers to the general population. 

The rate of COVID in the general population is 21.78 per 1,000 individuals. In the prison population, the rate is 96.11 per 1,000 individuals. This means that, on average, the rate of COVID infections in prison populations is 4.41 times the rate of COVID infections in the general population. Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, and Vermont all have a prison infection rate that is over 10 times that of the general population. In 40 of the 50 US states, the rate of COVID infections among those imprisoned exceeds the rate of COVID infections among the general population.

Since these rates were last calculated by our team on August 19th, the general population has experienced an increase in cases of 5.23 per 1,000 population whereas the prison population has experienced an increase in cases of 26.11 cases per 1,000 population. 

Importantly, states have varying testing strategies within prisons and for their general population, indicating that these rates likely reflect a falsely low disease incidence with some states’ rates being more accurate than others.

Covid Prison Hotspots

This week 22 out of 53 prisons systems are classified as Covid Prison Hotspots. This is our fourth posting.

We were inspired by the Kaiser Family Foundation‘s characterization of states as “covid hotspots” based on recent changes in cases and test positivity for the general population. So we applied their analysis to prison systems! For each prison system (50 states, FBOP, ICE, and Puerto Rico), we calculated the 14-day percent change in covid cases, the 14-day percent change in test positivity (i.e., the percent of tests that return positive), and the 7-day “rolling” average for test positivity, all for incarcerated people (not staff). If a prison system reports a 5% or greater increase in covid cases over the two week period AND reports a 1% or greater increase in test positivity over the two week period OR reports an average test positivity of 10% or higher, then they are classified as a Covid Prison Hotspot.

Covid Prison Hotspots

This week 23 out of 53 prisons systems are classified as Covid Prison Hotspots. This is our fourth posting.

We were inspired by the Kaiser Family Foundation‘s characterization of states as “covid hotspots” based on recent changes in cases and test positivity for the general population. So we applied their analysis to prison systems! For each prison system (50 states, FBOP, ICE, and Puerto Rico), we calculated the 14-day percent change in covid cases, the 14-day percent change in test positivity (i.e., the percent of tests that return positive), and the 7-day “rolling” average for test positivity, all for incarcerated people (not staff). If a prison system reports a 5% or greater increase in covid cases over the two week period AND reports a 1% or greater increase in test positivity over the two week period OR reports an average test positivity of 10% or higher, then they are classified as a Covid Prison Hotspot.

Covid Prison Hotspots

This week 22 out of 53 prisons systems are classified as Covid Prison Hotspots. This is our fourth posting.

We were inspired by the Kaiser Family Foundation‘s characterization of states as “covid hotspots” based on recent changes in cases and test positivity for the general population. So we applied their analysis to prison systems! For each prison system (50 states, FBOP, ICE, and Puerto Rico), we calculated the 14-day percent change in covid cases, the 14-day percent change in test positivity (i.e., the percent of tests that return positive), and the 7-day “rolling” average for test positivity, all for incarcerated people (not staff). If a prison system reports a 5% or greater increase in covid cases over the two week period AND reports a 1% or greater increase in test positivity over the two week period OR reports an average test positivity of 10% or higher, then they are classified as a Covid Prison Hotspot.

COVID-19 Tests per 1,000

In the last week, Wyoming has begun reporting testing information within prisons. Of the 41 states reporting testing information, 21, including Wyoming have administered more than 500 COVID tests per 1,000 inmates. Eight states have administered more than one test per inmate with Minnesota administering over three tests per inmate. Multiple prison systems are still testing fewer inmates per 1,000 than their state’s general population.  

COVID-19 Tests per 1,000

In the past two weeks, no additional states have reported testing information within prisons. Of the 40 states reporting testing information, 20 have administered more than 500 COVID tests per 1,000 inmates with eight administering more than one test per inmate. Multiple prison systems are still testing fewer inmates per 1,000 than their state’s general population.  

Covid Prison Hotspots

This week 21 out of 53 prisons systems are classified as Covid Prison Hotspots. This is our fourth posting.

We were inspired by the Kaiser Family Foundation‘s characterization of states as “covid hotspots” based on recent changes in cases and test positivity for the general population. So we applied their analysis to prison systems! For each prison system (50 states, FBOP, ICE, and Puerto Rico), we calculated the 14-day percent change in covid cases, the 14-day percent change in test positivity (i.e., the percent of tests that return positive), and the 7-day “rolling” average for test positivity, all for incarcerated people (not staff). If a prison system reports a 5% or greater increase in covid cases over the two week period AND reports a 1% or greater increase in test positivity over the two week period OR reports an average test positivity of 10% or higher, then they are classified as a Covid Prison Hotspot.