DRAPER – Utah Department of Corrections Friday afternoon announced that the Utah State Prison, located in Draper near Point of the Mountain, will be “red-coded” for 24 hours due to the apparent second COVID-19 outbreak in the facility. .
On Thursday night, two symptomatic inmates at Oquirrh 5 facility tested negative for the virus. On Friday, another symptomatic inmate tested positive for COVID-19, after which staff immediately went through containment procedures, said Bureau of Regulatory Executive Director Mike Haddon.
Shortly thereafter, a prisoner with other symptoms at the Promontory facility tested positive for the virus.
The prison is working closely with the state health department and the United Police Department, who are assisting with testing of prisoners. “We are extremely concerned about this latest outbreak,”; Haddon said in an update posted on Facebook.
To date, new cases have been concentrated in Oquirrh 5 and Promontory facilities and no inmates had significant symptoms. Both of these facilities are dormitory-style, which means there is a higher risk of exposure, Haddon notes.
The Oquirrh 5 unit is the home to the most medically vulnerable prisoners. Since March, this is where the biggest precautions have been taken.
The prison news comes just hours after the state reported a record number of new cases as officials continued to urge the public to wear masks and limit gatherings.
Prison staff are working to adjust isolation and quarantine as needed. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 312 people at prison have tested positive for the virus, with 303 considered recovering as of Friday.
“Those numbers are sure to change now with this latest outbreak,” Haddon said.
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