The first inmate within the state’s prison system has tested positive for COVID-19, state Department of Correction officials announced Monday.
The 32-year-old male is incarcerated at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville. His name has not been released.
It’s the same facility where a custody staff employee who last entered the facility on March 21 tested positive.
He was placed in isolation from the rest of the facility’s population as soon as it was suspected that he had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 which can include cough, fever and difficulty breathing.
When a test confirmed that he had COVID-19 he was placed in a negative pressure room at the Corrigan building at the facility, officials said. The room allows air in but does not allow air out trapping the contaminants.
Other offenders in the same housing unit will be isolated from the rest of the population for 14 days, officials said. Those who were in the vicinity of the man received temperature checks and are being closely monitored by DOC healthcare staff. A dozen other offenders have been tested but received negative results. Four DOC employees have tested positive for the virus, officials said.
The DOC has released about 500 people in the past month as the threat of COVID-19 increased throughout the state. Advocates had been calling for a release in larger numbers to protect offenders who are not able to easily distance themselves from others which helps to stop the spread of the virus.
The releases created room for DOC officials to designate isolation areas for offenders entering the facilities at seven prisons in the state including York Correctional Institution, the only state correction facility for women, DOC Commissioner Rollin Cook said.