Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, 2019

After a staff member at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility tested positive for COVID-19, follow-up mass testing has found no new cases of the respiratory disease at the South Burlington prison.

SOUTH BURLINGTON – Mass testing for COVID-19 at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility (CRCF) has found no new cases among the South Burlington prison’s staff and population after a staff member tested positive for the disease earlier this week.

In a statement issued Friday, Vermont’s Dept. of Corrections (DOC) said mass testing in CRCF had turned over no new cases of COVID-19 after a voluntary round of testing at the state’s only women’s prison saw a member of the staff test positive for the respiratory disease and prompted follow-up testing.

DOC initially announced a case of COVID-19 among the prison’s staff on Tuesday, reporting in a statement that, among the 84 staff members who volunteered for testing, one case of COVID-19 had been confirmed.

The positive test prompted DOC to test the other 42 members of the staff who hadn’t initially been tested, as well as the prison’s 76 inmates.

“These results show that Corrections’ protocols are working and staff at CRCF are following it,” DOC’s commissioner, Jim Baker, said in a statement. “We’re going to remain faithful to our evidence-based protocols, but we recognize that we cannot let up on our focus to keep our staff and inmates safe.”

Mass testing has also been conducted at the Northwest State Correctional Facility (NWSCF) in St. Albans, where a significant outbreak of the disease last month had led 45 inmates and 18 members of the staff to ultimately test positive for COVID-19.

Most of those inmates had been quarantined at a facility in St. Johnsbury, now slated for its own round of mass testing sometime next week, DOC said Friday.

According to DOC, most of those inmates who were quarantined in St. Johnsbury were asymptomatic and have since tested negative for COVID-19, prompting their return to NWSCF in St. Albans.

In March, DOC reported a staff member at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport had also tested positive for COVID-19.

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