Department of Corrections reports first COVID-19 case

From staff reports

The state Department of Corrections on Sunday announced it has an inmate who has tested positive for COVID-19, which is the agency’s first such case.

“An inmate at SCI Phoenix (Montgomery County) with underlying health conditions has tested positive for COVID-19,” state Department of Corrections Secretary JohnWetzel said in a news release. “The inmate is in the prison’s infirmary and is isolated from other inmates.”

SCI Phoenix, which opened in 2018, has special isolation rooms in its infirmary to handle such cases, the release said.

Inmates on the housing unit are now under quarantine, the release said. Both staff and inmates have been provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and are instructed to wear them in the affected housing unit.

The release said officials have traced the inmate’s interaction with other inmates and employees and are isolating impacted inmates to a specific housing unit. Employees who had contact with the inmate are being monitored for symptoms.

Wetzel said increased cleaning throughout the prison, including of common areas and inmates’ cells, continues.