ST. ALBANS — Northwest State Correctional Facility is on lockdown with contact tracers working through the facility following 16 positive COVID-19 cases recorded recently at the facility, according to an announcement from the state Friday.

According to the state Department of Corrections, the lockdown that resulted from an outbreak on Jan. 28 will continue after testing on Feb. 9 and 10 resulted in an additional two positive cases among staff and 13 cases among inmates. One other staff member received a positive test in the community.

State officials say the outbreak appears to be contained to two units at the prison, and contact tracing is ongoing. Those identified as close contacts of the individuals who’ve tested positive are being placed in medical quarantine.

The news comes as state officials have warned the Franklin County community of a spike in cases in local towns recently.

Enosburg and the surrounding towns of Franklin, Richford, Sheldon and Montgomery have all seen an increase in rates of new cases over the past two weeks, according to a Feb. 9 notice from the Vermont Department of Health. This culminated in a spike of 20 new cases from Tuesday to Wednesday. In addition to the spike over the last day, the Vermont Department of Health reports 214 new cases in the last two weeks.

“Cases have impacted multiple households and workplaces,” said Erin Creley, the Public Health Services district director for Franklin County.

(1) comment

Jesse Gedutis

If the state of Vermont can't properly protect the inmates from the Chinese Communist Party created Bat Plague, then they should release them until the global pandemic ends. Keeping these people I prison to be infected and possibly die is at the least a violation of their 8th Ammendment Constitutional Rights against cruel and unusual punishment. Where is the ACLU?

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