More than 100 York County inmates test positive for COVID-19 in past month as testing efforts increase


YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — In the last month, more than 100 York County inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, according to prison officials.

That’s more than half of the 189 reported positive cases since March.

“I think this was unexpected. We’re certainly not happy about it, but we can do all we can to make sure that the safety of the employees and the inmates at York County Prison are well taken care of,” said York County Commissioner Doug Hoke, who is also the president of the York County Prison Board.

They’re “taking care” by dividing and conquering.

“Within the prison, we’ve recently established three different units,” Hoke said.

Those units are: covid-positive, covid-negative and potentially covid-positive.

“[Inmates who] have undergone tests –we’re waiting to hear, you know? Or maybe they have a sore throat and we’re waiting to hear. So, they’ve been quarantined,” Hoke said.

Once an inmate tests negative, they can move to general population, but they now have to start out in the potential-positive unit.

“When an inmate arrives at our facility, they come in right off the street with potentially un-diagnosed or unrelated medical conditions,” Hoke said.

In addition to increased testing and inmate separating, officials said all of their employees wear masks during work. They said they also strongly encourage employees to social distance outside prison walls.

“We think we’re getting it under control, and I think we’re going in the right direction right now,” Hoke said.

It’s a right direction for those who may have taken the wrong one in their life.

“Their safety and welfare is just as important as anyone’s safety and welfare,” Hoke said.

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