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COVID-19 cases spike at Allenwood penitentiary

Staff at the Federal Corrections Institution at Allenwood has had a spike in COVID-19 cases among its inmates and corrections staff, officials say.

The most recent figure is 47 inmates who are in the medium security penitentiary and six staff have contracted the virus, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons staff.

Four inmates and one staff member were infected at USP Allenwood, low-security prison.

Susan Brown, an spokeswoman at the prison, said Monday that the infected inmates are being isolated and sick employees have been quarantined.

Had the prison not begun mitigating the virus the numbers of infected would be higher and the infections would have taken place sooner, Brown said.

There are more than 800 staff and 1,300 prisoners at the medium-security prison alone, she said.

The inmates infected at Allenwood facilities were not recently transferred and were serving sentences, according to staff officials.

The prison resumed visitations Saturday and visitors must following COVID-219 regulations. Daily testing of staff and inmates is occurring to reduce the virus spread, Brown said.

The Bureau of Prisons has 126,586 federal inmates in bureau-managed institutions and 14,375 in community-based facilities.

The bureau staff complement is about 36,000.

There are 1,565 federal inmates and 726 bureau staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide.

Currently, 13,452 inmates and 1,164 staff have recovered. There have been 124 federal inmate deaths and 2 bureau staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease.

Of the inmate deaths, four occurred while on home confinement.

To that concern, Brown noted every effort is being done to follow the Centers for Disease Control and bureau guidelines and that is to control spread inside and outside of the prison.

Brown said residents can be sure the prison is doing its part so that staff infected do not infect others and that sick staff do not take the virus outside of the prison and into the communities.

What is happening in businesses and in nursing homes — wearing of masks, faceshields, hand-washing and other efforts occur in prison, Brown said.

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