Flu forces closure of community corrections work release facility

(WTWO Photo)

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO) — “It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere,” Scott Brown said.

Flu season arrived in full force at the Community Corrections Work Release Facility in Vincennes.

Since the start of flu season, several residents and faculty came down with signs and symptoms of the potentially deadly illness and several ended up in the emergency room.

“We thought, well we need to address this,” Brown said.

In his eight years as director, this is the first time Brown has had to close the doors for an outbreak of the flu.

“Everything is getting cleaned,” Brown said.

The offenders were given a 48-hour leave and were required to wear GPS tracking devices on their ankles for the duration.

After talking with county health officials, Brown is positive he made the right call.

“The safety of the residents and the staff, the most important thing is their safety,” Brown said. “So these are just safety precautions that we take. We have to be prepared for incidents like this.”

Since Sunday, cleaning crews have worked around the clock making sure everything is scrubbed, sprayed and washed in the building.

Crews have used gallons of bleach and disinfectant spray. Those who enter have to wear protective gloves and face masks to reduce the risk of exposure.

Officials hope the worst of the outbreak is behind them.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday the facility re-opened, with all the offenders, almost 100 required to return.

With the bulk of flu season still ahead, officials say they will be taking extra precautions to limit another outbreak.

Experts say everyone should take precautions.

To help stop the spread of the flu virus, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.

If you are sick, stay home and don’t forget frequent hand washing.