SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19 within one of its community correctional centers or halfway houses.
According to a press released issued by the department Friday, the patient is a man between the ages of 45 to 64 who has not been in a state prison since late 2019. UDC officials reported he is in stable condition and has been isolated.
The UDC states, “community correctional centers serve as halfway houses to help offenders who may not have a place to go when they leave prison, need additional treatment as they transition back into the community or are struggling and at risk of returning to jail or prison—but pose no direct public safety risk.”
Offenders housed within a halfway house typically have regular access to the community, so based on recommendations from state and local health departments—the facility will quarantine for at least 14 days.
“This is an ever-evolving situation,” said Dan Blanchard, Adult Probation and Parole director for UDC, “and while we are planning to place the center on quarantine at this time, we will continue to evaluate offenders on a case-by-case basis, consult with state and local health departments, and may consider recommending to the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole for the early release of some offenders to an approved address in the future.”
UDC said it is working in accordance with CDC guidelines and state and local health departments to ensure that all containment steps are taken.