Food Service Workers In Arizona Prisons Test Positive For COVID-19

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 10:16am

Trinity Services Group, a company that provides food services for jails and prisons in all 50 states, says four of its employees in Arizona and 20 employees nationwide have tested positive for COVID-19. The positive Trinity employees in Arizona work in kitchens at the Florence and Yuma state prisons.

Alex Lee, executive vice president and general counsel for Trinity Services Group, said its employees in Arizona prisons are responsible for tasks including ordering and receiving food products, prepping, menu planning and serving meals.

Trinity also runs Keefe Group, which operates the commissaries in Arizona prisons.

“They are truly the definition of essential workers,” Lee said. “We’re responsible for feeding more than 30,000 inmates every day in the state of Arizona alone. This task is incredibly important, because it goes toward the security and well-being of those who are incarcerated.”

Lee said the Department of Corrections is responsible for performing temperature checks on all Trinity employees entering Arizona prisons each day. “Workers are asked specific questions regarding their health and if they are experiencing any symptoms before they are allowed to proceed to their jobs,” he said.

“If Trinity workers have a high temperature they are turned away,” Lee said, “and they are not allowed back into the facility until they get a clean bill of health from a physician.”

Lee said Trinity workers have access to a separate bank of paid time off called “quarantine time,” which was established to encourage sick employees to take the time off they need to recover.

Trinity is now conducting contact tracing at the Florence and Yuma prisons and contacting individuals who may have been exposed to the employees who tested positive.

“We conducted a deep clean of the kitchens where they worked,” Lee said. “This is on top of our typical daily cleaning.”

“Our company supports these courageous workers, and we look forward to having them back once they are healthy again,” Lee said. “We are doing our best to keep them safe.”

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