Second inmate tests positive for COVID-19 in West Virginia

Covid-19 infections in prisons

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — There are now at least four coronavirus cases at a West Virginia prison after the lockup reported its first infection earlier this week, officials said Wednesday.

Corrections Commissioner Betsy Jividen said two staffers and two inmates at the Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County have the virus. Widespread testing of employees and inmates is underway, she said.

Officials on Monday said a Huttonsvile prison guard tested positive and on the following day reported that a 62-year-old inmate tested positive, though the governor’s general counsel said the two cases are not linked.

Jividen said the two inmates who tested positive have been quarantined since Monday with fevers. About 40 prisoners housed around those inmates and more than 200 employees have since been tested. Results are pending.

Separately, at least five inmates have tested positive at FCI Gilmer, a federal prison in Glenville, after the federal Bureau of Prisons transferred 124 inmates to the lockup. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has said Attorney General William Barr has assured him that no additional inmates will be relocated to Gilmer.

At least 69 people in West Virginia have died from the virus and around 1,500 have tested positive, according to state health data.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptom. But for others, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including life-threatening pneumonia.

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