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 in line with current advice from NSW Health. 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.

Visits are suspended until further notice

Personal visits have been suspended in the Forensic Hospital, as well as all NSW correctional and detention centres to reduce the risk of transmission.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in our settings                                     

Correctional centres and Youth Justice centres

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

The Forensic Hospital, Malabar

There have been no confirmed cases among patients.

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

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

Following the confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis of two staff members at the Forensic Hospital and a staff member at the separate Long Bay Hospital, those staff members have undertaken self-isolation in their own home. Contact tracing has been undertaken with staff, inmates and patients, and those identified as close contacts of the three staff members have been placed in isolation and will undergo testing and monitoring.

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

What you need to do whie visits are temporarily suspended

Please follow your usual visit request process to confirm alternative arrangements. 

When can I resume visits? 

Visits will recommence as soon as it is safe to do so; and we continue to follow advice from state and federal authorities.

What you should do if you feel sick

Anyone who develops a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of overseas travel or contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, should immediately isolate themselves from other people and contact their GP or call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222

More information

More information, included 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