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Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19 at Wichita Work Release Facility

by Rebecca Witte last modified May 06, 2020 05:01 PM
Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) Secretary Jeff Zmuda announced today that one staff member working at the Wichita Work Release Facility (WWRF) tested positive for COVID-19. A resident first tested positive on April 12 at WWRF. There are seven KDOC facilities with a confirmed case including Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF), WWRF, Topeka Correctional Facility, Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, El Dorado Correctional Facility, Ellsworth Correctional Facility and Hutchinson Correctional Facility.

The staff member is a male over the age of 40. In order to protect the identity of the staff member, no other information will be released.

The KDOC has been in consultation with officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on next steps to address these circumstances. As a result of that consultation with KDHE, the following steps are being implemented immediately:

  • KDHE conducted contact tracing to determine who among our staff and residents have been in close contact with this individual
  • The Sedgwick County Health Department conducted contact tracing to identify anyone outside of WWRF who may have been in close contact with this individual and will notify those persons
  • KDOC will remain diligent in monitoring other staff and residents for symptoms

“Our staff work hard every day to ensure the health and safety of themselves, their loved ones and those within our care,” Zmuda said. “We’re thankful when our staff recognize symptoms quickly, they seek appropriate medical care.”

The Wichita Work Release Facility, a satellite unit of the Winfield Correctional Facility, is an all-male, minimum-custody state prison with a population of 248 prior to the pandemic and a new temporary population of 175.

For current information on COVID-19 in Kansas, and to sign up for updates, go to the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center at For information on the KDOC’s response to COVID-19, visit

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