Tabor Correctional sees large COVID-19 spike

TABOR CITY, NC (WWAY) — Tabor Correctional Institution in Columbus County now has the most active COVID cases of any prison in North Carolina, making up 60% of state’s cases in prisons with 222 cases.

Tracy Ramseur is a mother of three. Her oldest son, Malik, has severe asthma and gets out of Tabor Correctional Institution in just a few months.

She talked to 21-year-old Malik everyday until Monday.

“And then for him to stop calling us like that,” Ramseur said, “I’m just like oh wait a minute.”

Instead of a call from her son or prison officials, Monday she received a call from another inmate. It was the inmate who informed her her son had tested positive for coronavirus and was being put in a maximum security portion of the prison.

Since then, Ramseur’s called almost every hour for days. She’s begged for information on her son’s condition, but hasn’t had any luck:

“Now it’s like they’re pushing back and forth. You need to talk to medical. You need to talk to the medical supervisor. Then, you’re giving me these different times. I’m calling all the way through the night because I’m a mother and I can’t sleep.”

She’s not the only one trying to get answers. One woman says she worries about her husband after not hearing form him since last week:

“Talk about social distancing…that doesn’t exist in prison.”

He has Coronavirus. When she asked a guard where if he’d been taken to the maximum security portion of the prison, she says he responded, “‘Oh, if they took him over there, they’re dropping like flies over there.’ Just like, like no regard for them at all.”

When we reached out to Tabor Correctional for a response, they said:

“The Division of Prisons is working hard to protect the health and safety of the staff and the offenders, and this remains the top priority in this first-in-a-century pandemic of highly infectious respiratory virus. Protocols are in place and are being followed.”

But with their loved ones out of sight, Ramseur says family members are going out of their minds with worry.

“I can’t sleep. I don’t care how old he is. He’s still my baby. That’s my first born. And I know his health history so, yeah. I’m scared.”

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