DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) has confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19 at the Utah State Prison in Draper Friday.
UDC says they will not be releasing the name of the offender or their housing location. The inmate is male between the ages of 18-24, and is in stable condition and has been isolated, according to officials.
Officials say the offender came into the facility as an intake from a county jail on May 27 and was tested and confirmed within 48 hours of arrival, while housing with only a small group of others who came into the facility at the same time.
Starting May 20, the UDC said they moved to once a week intake day for those transitioning to prison from a county jail or from Adult Probation and Parole. In direct consultation with local health officials, UDC has worked to test all intakes shortly after their arrival, along with housing intakes together for a period of two weeks before moving them to the general population.
UDC says they are working in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, and coordinating closely with state and local health officials to ensure that all containment steps are taken, which include but are not limited to isolating the infected inmate who will receive frequent health checks; coordinating with local health officials on quarantine procedures and contact tracing; and ensuring that proper cleaning protocols are implemented.
“We are working actively to contain any potential spread of COVID-19 within our facilities,” said Mike Haddon, executive director for the Utah Department of Corrections. “As this situation continues to evolve, you can be sure that we will continue to be responsive in making decisions that both ensure public safety and keep incarcerated individuals healthy.”
UDC says they are dedicated to ensuring that any offender who is isolated or quarantined will have access to some form of communication with their loved ones while maintaining isolation protocols.
The department says it provides on-site medical care through the Clinical Services Bureau, which operates infirmaries at both the Utah State Prison and the Central Utah Correctional Facility. The infirmaries offer on-site medical care where medical staff can treat or stabilize inmates needing health care. Mental health services are also available to inmates as needed.
The Bureau also contracts with the University of Utah Hospital for treatment of seriously ill inmates who cannot be properly cared for at an infirmary or require evaluation or care from a specialist, according to officials.
If an inmate needs greater care due to COVID-19 such as access to a ventilator, then they will be seen at a hospital, according to officials.
UDC says it is driven to ensure that staff, inmates, and the general public are informed of recent developments within Corrections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last couple of months, the department says it has proactively taken stringent steps for prevention, and toward containment. You can learn more about those efforts and continued updates.
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