DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah State prison in Draper announced a “code-red” lockdown of the facility due to increasing COVID-19 cases.
The lockdown is scheduled to last 24 hours due to a “potential second COVID-19 outbreak,” according to prison officials.
The Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) said they are working collaboratively with state partners, including the Lieutenant Governor’s task force to address Coronavirus in Utah.
Officials added that the safety of incarcerated individuals or those on supervision, along with their staff, volunteers, and others who interact directly with the department, is important to them.
In a statement, officials said, “as Coronavirus cases in Utah continue to increase, please know that we have outbreak strategies in place, which include prompt medical care and testing, and quarantining or isolating staff or incarcerated individuals.”
Prison officials say during the lockdown, those incarcerated will still have their basic needs met including meals and medical care.
On Thursday night, two inmates housed in Oquirrh 5 reported that they were exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and they were immediately subjected to rapid-testing. Both those tests came back negative. On Friday another inmate housed in the Promontory Facility reported COVID-19 symptoms and their test came back positive, according to prison officials.
Prison officials say they are collaborating closely with the Utah Health Department and the Utah Department of Public Safety who are assisting in the testing of the whole Utah State Prison in Draper starting in the Oquirrh and Promontory Facilities Friday.
The USP reportedly has a population of 2,580 as of Friday.
“We are deeply concerned about this latest outbreak. Oquirrh 5 is where our most medically vulnerable incarcerated individuals reside and it’s where we’ve taken the greatest precautions since the beginning of the pandemic to keep them safe,” said prison officials.
Our staff are working quickly now to accommodate isolation and quarantine needs.
The total COVID-19 positive case count at USP Friday morning before the confirmed additional cases in Oquirrh 5 and Promontory were counted, totaled 312 incarcerated individuals with 303 individuals considered recovered.
At this time, no incarcerated individuals in Promontory or Oquirrh 5 are exhibiting significant symptoms, according to prison officials.
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