COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)


Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (the Network) has long-standing procedures in place to prevent and control communicable diseases, including treatment and isolation of affected inmates and patients, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), increased environmental cleaning, and identifying individuals at increased risk from infection.

We acknowledge and sincerely thank our staff for their unwavering commitment to the health, safety, and wellbeing of those in our care.

We're working closely with inmates and patients, partner agencies, and the NSW Ministry of Health to prevent and control COVID-19 in our settings.

What the Network is doing to control and prevent COVID-19

The Network is screening every inmate/patient, visitor and staff member that enters our facilities. We’ve also increased environmental cleaning and access to hand sanitiser, and have provided health promotion and education to staff and inmates/patients around hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, and alerting their nurse or manager if they become unwell.

Managing suspected and confirmed cases

Any inmates or patients who are suspected cases are being immediately isolated and provided a mask to prevent transmission, while they undergo any necessary testing, treatment and monitoring. Any custodial or health staff and cleaners entering the room of a potential or confirmed COVID-19 case wear appropriate PPE, including masks, eye protection, and disposable gloves and gown to protect themselves and prevent spread of the disease.

Aged and vulnerable inmates

The Network has identified and is closely monitoring inmates at increased risk from infection, including those with a history of chronic illness and the aged. As an added precaution, all inmates with acute respiratory symptoms or fever are being tested for COVID-19, irrespective of whether they have been overseas or in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days.

In-person visits have resumed

Additional COVIDsafe measures have been established to enable the resumption of in-person visits in custodial settings and the Forensic Hospital.

The Network and its partner agencies are regularly monitoring COVID-19 case numbers in NSW, and visit restrictions may be increased or further eased where required. Online visits are also still being supported, where possible.

Please follow your usual visit request process to confirm arrangements. 

COVID-19 Visitor Brochure

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in our settings                                     

Correctional centres and Youth Justice centres

There has been one confirmed case among those in custody in NSW, diagnosed on 29 July 2020. The asymptomatic patient was identified on entry to custody through existing COVID-19 screening and testing protocols, and immediately placed in isolation.

There has been two confirmed cases among health staff in custodial settings; one at Long Bay Hospital, diagnosed in March 2020; and one at Surry Hills Police Cell Complex, diagnosed 28 August 2020. 

There has been nil community transmission of COVID-19 in NSW custodial settings.

The Forensic Hospital, Malabar

There have been no confirmed cases among patients.

There have been two confirmed cases in Forensic Hospital staff, both diagnosed in March 2020.

All appropriate health and safety measures in response to COVID-19 have been in place since late January 2020.

There have been no other confirmed COVID-19 cases at Network facilities to date.

Get tested if you feel sick

If you develop symptoms, even mild signs, go to a COVID-19 clinic and get tested, and self-isolate at home while you wait for your results. Symptoms include a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell.

More information

More information, including visitor advice from our partner agencies, is available from the following links:

NSW Government COVID-19 advice, including current health alerts

Australian Government Department of Health

Corrective Services NSW