HURRICANE (ABC4 News) — Officials at Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane have confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak with 15 inmates currently testing positive for the virus who are quarantined within the facility.
Chief Deputy Jake Schultz with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office tells ABC4 News four symptomatic inmates who were staying in intake housing units were placed in medical isolation cells and tested on Saturday. Three of the four individuals tested positive for COVID-19.
These inmates were in housing units with a total of 24 inmates, 12 of which also tested positive for the virus, according to Schultz.
In total, there are currently four quarantined housing units: one with known positive cases, 2 with potential exposure, and a fourth unit currently housing the inmates whose initial COVID-19 tests came back negative. The inmates will remain quarantined for two weeks until they can be tested again.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said PCF staff tested an additional 100 inmates who may have been exposed. Deputies tell ABC4 News that staff do not provide masks to all inmates booked into the jail but confirmed that every inmate in each of the four quarantined blocks has been given a mask.
Shultz added that employees have been sanitizing the facility for months and are wearing masks and gloves any time they’re outside of the control room.
Up until Sunday, the facility had reported one positive inmate from May 8, bringing the total number of inmates who have tested positive to 16.
The male inmate was from out of state who went directly into medical isolation, according to police. He was in the facility for less than 24 hours before promising to appear in court and sent home to self-quarantine in Nevada.