One in seven inmates at York County Jail had COVID-19: Warden

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The COVID-19 outbreak in York County Jail is so widespread that more than one in seven inmates have tested positive so far.

As of Wednesday, 140 inmates have COVID-19 out of a total population of 971, according to director Adam Ogle. This would translate to 14.4% of the current population.

Ogle warned the number would change daily as inmates recover from the illness or more inmates test positive. Indeed, within hours of providing the initial figure, he provided a new number – 120 – which meant that one in eight inmates was currently infected with the disease.

The jail was closed the day before Thanksgiving, as the number of cases increased, on the advice of an infectious disease nurse. County officials confirmed the lockdown to The York Dispatch earlier this week.

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For comparison, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections reported 244 active cases of COVID-19 at state facilities on Wednesday. This represents about 0.7% of the state’s total population.

Site visits were suspended and only essential movements of detainees were approved.

According to county spokesperson Mark Walters, essential travel includes all necessary medical appointments, court cases that cannot be conducted in a housing unit, and releases.

Ogle said in an email that the prison is following guidelines set out by their medical provider PrimeCare, the state Department of Corrections and various health officials.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak sends York County jail into custody

These recommendations include testing and quarantining new admissions as well as sick individuals, “robust” testing in units where individuals have tested positive, minimizing the number of staff and inmates meeting together. in a single area, cleaning crews, contract research and regular COVID meetings to discuss solutions.

“It is important to note that all staff and inmates are required to wear masks and have been throughout the pandemic,” Ogle said. “Due to the current number of COVID cases, we have required all staff to wear a [N95 respirator] mask.”

When asked how many employees at York County Jail have tested positive, Ogle replied that he could not release this information.

READ MORE: WellSpan Delays Non-Emergency Procedures Amid Growing COVID-19 Cases

Commissioner Doug Hoke said he did not have an update on the outbreak after the Council of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday

“I don’t know. I know it’s flowing everyday,” said Hoke, who is chairman of the Prison Inspection Board.

President-Commissioner Julie Wheeler said on Wednesday that she knew there was a COVID-19 outbreak in the prison, but had no further information.

The Prison Inspection Board is meeting next Wednesday.

This article has been updated to include a new number of inmates who test positive for COVID-19.

Matt Enright can be contacted by email at [email protected] or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.

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