Dauphin County Prison sees significant increase in COVID cases after mass testing

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Dauphin County Prison is seeing a large increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The prison has conducted mass testing on inmates and seen an increase in the numbers since Monday when we knew of 118 cases, now the rest of the results have come in and 67 more cases have been reported. 155 of those cases are inmates.

Two inmates just came off isolation status and another 33 are expected to come off next week. A total of 30 staff members have tested positive and as of Thursday, four have been called back to work after clearing quarantine. Another 11 are expected back next week.

John Hargreaves is with the Pa. Prison Society, an advocacy group for inmates.
He says social distancing and cleanliness are the two biggest challenges in any prison during a pandemic.

“Yes housing blocks where basically inmates are sharing a cell where they are eating in their cell and using the bathroom in the cell and it is difficult to get people away from one another when someone tests positive they are moved to another area but they are around other inmates who are positive so it is a challenge,” said Hargreaves.

Hargreaves says Dauphin County Prison has a unique way of conducting contact tracing and our Mark Hall will talk about that and more right here on abc27 News at 5 and 6 p.m.

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