“You knew that this was happening,” Weir said of the introduction of COVID-19 in the prison. “Why wouldn’t you take the precautions before this was brought in here?”
In mid-March, Weir said, a few workers at Oshkosh Correctional came in sick with coughs and other cold-like symptoms, joking that they had the coronavirus. One of the guards also reported seeing fellow workers show up with coughs during that time.
Neal said since March 3 all state employees have been directed to stay home if they feel sick.
‘All over the place’
The Oshkosh prison has 11 living units. Inmates in each are being kept separate from the other, going outside or to the gym at different times, Brosz and both officers said. Only W Building, which had the positive cases, was being fully locked down, they said.
But staff still filter in and out of W Building and the quarantine areas to other units of the prison, Brosz and both guards said.
One of the guards said he works in many different parts of the prison, including the hospital wing where the COVID-19 inmates are being treated.
“I’ve been all over the place,” he said.
The other officer said prison management wouldn’t let another guard go home to shower between his shift on the hospital floor with the COVID-19 patients and a subsequent shift working within the prison units. That guard decided to skip his shift and go home sick instead.