Georgia Southern University’s Institute for Health Logistics and Analytics (IHLA) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) have once again joined forces to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in confinement facilities across the state. DPH has awarded the IHLA a contract worth $10 million to complete a second year of work.
“Throughout the pandemic, COVID-19 was a significant cause of illness and death among confinement facility residents and employees,” said Jessica Schwind, Ph.D., director of IHLA. “SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is still circulating and we need to continue to support these facilities in reducing viral transmission.”
With the funding, the IHLA assists with the purchase and coordination of allowable COVID-19 mitigation items for enrolled facilities across the state of Georgia. The focus in year two of the project is to improve air quality and offer a seamless process for confinement facilities.
Recipients do not incur any direct costs and the paperwork and the procurement process is handled entirely by Georgia Southern.
“We work with each facility to determine what they need,” said Kathryn Stewart, budget manager at IHLA. “We then handle the ordering, payment and delivery. For facilities that need fairly standard supplies, we have an easy order form process. For those with complex requests, we work with them individually to make sure they receive the best solution for their particular needs.”
Facilities in Georgia are eligible to receive $25,000 to $250,000 of COVID-19 mitigation supplies. The amount awarded is determined by the number of detainees each facility is licensed to hold. Eligible items include portable HEPA filter units to improve air quality, personal protective equipment and cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
“We are really proud of the work this institute has accomplished,” said Carl Reiber, Ph.D., Georgia Southern’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Not only has the IHLA maintained a focus on public impact research, it is a shining example of the significant role Georgia Southern is taking on improving health across the state.”
All eligible correctional confinement facilities, which includes adult prisons and jails, youth detention centers and holding cells in the state of Georgia, are encouraged to enroll, even if they received funding in the previous cycle.
This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Detection and Mitigation of COVID-19 in Confinement Facilities Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Grant Program, which provided a financial assistance award to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
For more information and to enroll in the program visit the project website.