HEALTH

Utah State Prison currently dealing with COVID-19 outbreak

Nov 12, 2021, 12:16 PM | Updated: 6:19 pm
utah state prison covid outbreak...
A guard tower at the Utah State Prison on Monday, Sept, 14, 2020. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

DRAPER, Utah — The Utah State Prison confirms 66 active cases of COVID-19 currently affecting the site. According to a spokesperson, 3 of those 66 cases are intake cases.  Corrections officials say they’ve had outbreaks in the prison before, but this one is bigger than normal.

Officials are confirming 66 total cases of COVID-19 within the walls of the prison, with only three of those cases coming from what they call “intakes.”

“[Intakes are] people coming from a county jail,” according to Utah Department of Corrections Communications Director Kaitlin Felsted.

She said none of those cases currently require hospitalization.  Earlier in the week, Utah prison officials confirmed a handful of COVID cases at the Wasatch Facility had impacted meals for inmates but stressed all inmates still receive three meals a day. The Wasatch Facility houses a number of inmates responsible for culinary duties. 

Felsted said they can’t always keep the virus out of the prison, and the inmates frequently interact with visitors, volunteers and guards.

She said, “We still have people coming in.  We have staff coming in and out of the facilities.  We have contractors coming in and out of the facilities.”

Inmates with confirmed cases are isolated for two weeks, then tested again to see they still have the illness. 

“Depending in testing results, they may go into general population,” Felsted said.

Corrections officials say it’s important for the families of the inmates to stay informed about any possible outbreaks, and they post the information they can on their website.

“We put updates on our website as frequently as possible, especially when we see an increase in cases,” she said.  “We also encourage them to call our hotline if they have questions.”


Related:


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Obtain a flu shot.
  • Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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