5 virus cases at federal prison where inmates transferred

GLENVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — Five inmates at a federal prison in West Virginia have tested positive for the coronavirus after a big transfer of prisoners led to the first case at the lockup.

Data on the federal Bureau of Prisons website Tuesday show the new cases at FCI Gilmer came around a week after one of the 124 inmates transferred to the prison in Glenville tested positive.

Federal and state politicians opposed the prisoner transfers when they were announced and then renewed their criticism after the positive case emerged at Gilmer. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has said Attorney General William Barr has assured him that no additional inmates will be relocated to Gilmer or the federal prison at Hazelton.

Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal has said the agency identified 10 sites across the country with enough bed space to house new inmates and ease overcrowding at their other prisons. Inmates who don’t test positive for the virus after a 14-day quarantine will then be transported to their designated prisons, he said.

The inmates had been screened and had their temperatures checked several times, including before boarding their flight, after landing and after arriving at the Gilmer prison. They were not tested for COVID-19 during the trip and they wore protective masks, Bureau of Prisons spokesman Scott Taylor said last week.

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