20 January, 2022
Prison feels effects of Covid spread
LOTUS Glen prison is grappling with staff absences due to Covid.
With 20 officers reporting unfit for duty from exposure to the virus in the community, 12 officers absent due to being close contacts, 37 inmates with the virus and another 138 in isolation as close contacts of the positive cases.
Last weekend, the prison stopped personal visits to the facility to allow staff to focus on core activities and to minimise internal movements within the centre.
The correctional centre has adjusted its rostering to cover for officers who are absent from the workplace and decisions on the day-to-day management of the centre are being made by the local leadership team.
Lotus Glen general manager Chief Superintendent Gabby Payne has praised the hard work and commitment of officers at the centre as they activate their COVID operational plans.
“While this is an anxious time for everyone in Queensland, the officers at Lotus Glen are showing an extraordinary resilience, teamwork, comradery and commitment,” she said.
“Operating in a business-as-usual correctional environment is a demanding job, however at this time, officers at Lotus Glen have come together, rolled up their sleeves and carried on with their vital roles, with no fuss and in the most professional manner.
“I would like to thank everyone at Lotus Glen for their absolute commitment and professionalism as we work through a challenging period. I am incredibly proud of the way our staffing group are responding to the present challenges posed by the global pandemic.”
Ch Supt Payne said the centre was working closely with Queensland Health to make appropriate decisions to ensure the safety and security of the prison.
“The safety of our officers is an absolute priority,” she said.
“Every centre across the State has extensive plans in place to manage the scenarios posed by Covid and the unique risks of the virus in prison environments with decisions made in consultation with Queensland Health.”
All officers working in Queensland correctional centres are required to have had at least one vaccination, and to be fully vaccinated against Covid by 24 January.
Every prisoner in Queensland has been offered vaccination, with new prisoners placed in isolation for a period and offered vaccination upon reception into a correctional centre.