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Officials: Two inmates test positive for COVID-19 in same state facility

Officials: Two inmates test positive for COVID-19 in same state facility

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UNCASVILLE — A second inmate at a state correctional center tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials. 

The inmate, a 24-year-old man, was the second to test positive for COVID-19, according to a release on Tuesday. The first inmate was a 32-year-old man. Both inmates are being housed at the Corrigan-Radgowski Corrections Center in Uncasville. The second inmate began showing symptoms on March 26 and was removed and isolated from the rest of the facility’s population. 

Three DOC employees have previously tested positive, one of which worked at Corrigan-Radgowski.

Once it was suspected that the first inmate had symptoms consistent with the virus, he was placed in a negative pressure isolation room. The room allows airflow in, but not to escape from the room, containing airborne contaminants, according to a release. 

The other inmates who were in the same housing unit as the affected inmate will be isolated from the rest of the population for 14 days. All inmates in the area of the affected inmate received temperature checks and are being monitored by the facility’s healthcare staff, the release stated. 

Before the second affected inmate developed symptoms, he was in a two-person cell. The cellmate has also been tested, along with eight other inmates for possible exposure. The department is waiting for the results of those tests. 

Officials reviewed which staff members interacted with the affected inmates and they are being notified. A targeted deep cleaning of the unit was also undertaken. 

The facility was placed on lockdown, effective immediately. 

Since March 21, when the staff member at the Uncasville facility tested positive, all offender transfers in and out of the facility were suspended and staff temperature checks have been increased to two times per shift. No additional staff members at the facility have tested positive for the virus. 

The department has taken several steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including suspending all outside visits, doing wellness checks of anyone entering the buildings, ongoing disinfecting and new intakes being placed in 14 day isolation units. 

The department has also been releasing inmates who are eligible back into the community. In March the offender population dropped from 12,409 on March 1 to 11,900 on March 30, the release stated. 

“We have been prepared for this moment. Thanks to the rapidly decreasing population, our facilities have the room to isolate individuals who contract the virus,” Rollin Cook, Commissioner of the Department of Corrections said in the statement. “We also have incredibly dedicated healthcare and custody staff professionals who are willing to do whatever is necessary to care for the offenders as well as each other. I could not be prouder of their heroic efforts. Our staff will do everything possible to ensure our incarcerated individuals have the best care we can provide during this pandemic.”

lsellew@record-journal.com203-317-2225Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ