DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah State Prison in Draper is reporting they have 47 positive cases of COVID-19 as of Monday.
In a press release issued by the Utah Department of Corrections, the Utah State Health Department aided UDC medical staff tested 164 incarcerated individuals housed within Baker Block, 45 of those came back positive.
The other two cases are new prison intakes according to the release.
UDC officials said it is suspected a couple of the COVID-positive inmates may have contracted the virus from a medical care provider who treated several inmates, while wearing full personal protective equipment, and shortly after became symptomatic.
At that time the provider did promptly get tested and quarantined.
Contact tracing and testing were initiated on September 23, and both USP and the Central Utah Correctional Facility are now on a modified lockdown. Incarcerated individuals’ movement and level of recreation have been restricted and based on areas of observation, quarantined, and isolated.
“Our team and those we supervise have worked diligently and heroically to keep COVID-19 from entering our general incarcerated population,” said Mike Haddon, executive director for the Utah Department of Corrections. “We are genuinely concerned about the possible transmission of this virus, which is why we are following and exceeding CDC recommendations and working with local health officials to contain any potential outbreak.”
Up until Sept. 23, all positive cases were caught upon intake of incoming inmates. Those inmates were then quarantined for 14-days before allowed in general population.
In response to the outbreak, UDC said they are working with state partners, including the Lieutenant Governor’s task force, to address COVID-19 issues.
“The safety of incarcerated individuals or those on supervision, along with our staff, volunteers, and others who interact directly with our Department, is paramount,” as stated in the press release.
“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. These updates will be shared via this webpage and social media.”
Learn more extensively about the many steps UDC has taken to ensure the safety and health of incarcerated individuals and those on supervision with the Department here: https://le.utah.gov/interim/2020/pdf/00002842.pdf