7 new cases; Inmate at St. Albans prison tests positive
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is reexamining its intake policy for new inmates after several have recently tested positive for COVID-19 at state prisons, said Secretary of Human Services Mike Smith.
A new inmate at the St. Albans prison has tested positive and has been quarantined, he said Wednesday. The inmate was tested on June 19 and the result was negative but a second test on Monday was positive, according to the St. Albans Messenger. The inmate’s contacts are being traced, Smith said. Since the inmate has been quarantined since arriving, a full testing of inmates and staff may not be needed, he said.
Meanwhile, testing is underway at the women’s prison in South Burlington and has been completed at the Marble Valley Correctional Facility in Rutland, which both had new intakes test positive for the illness caused by the coronavirus. The inmates were from out of state.
The Department of Corrections is considering its intake protocols and may send new inmates to one or two facilities to be quarantined, Smith said.
New inmates pose the greatest risk at correctional facilities, he said. “We’re putting too many facilities at risk as we quarantine at individual facilities,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure our facilities are clear of this virus.”
In other coronavirus-related developments:
Vermont reported seven new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday for a total to date of 1,191. No new deaths were reported. The number of deaths has remained at 56 for more than a week. Three people are hospitalized with the illness and 938 people have recovered, according to the Vermont Department of Health.
More than 60,000 people have been tested since the outbreak began earlier this year.