(CBS4) — The Colorado Department of Corrections announced Monday additional testing of inmates and staff at three prison facilities in Buena Vista and Cañon City implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
So far, 1,058 inmates have been tested at the Buena Vista Correctional Complex. Thirty six inmates have tested positive. The most recent positive was discovered last week. Three staff members have also tested positive for Covid-19.
One inmate at the Colorado State Penitentiary tested positive recently. Several staff members there and two more at the nearby Arrowhead Correctional Center also tested positive.
Additional testing continues at all three facilities this week.
All three prisons remain on Phase III operational status. This requires inmates to quarantine in their cells except to use the restroom or shower. Meals are delivered to their cells. Staff and inmates are required to wear face coverings and the facilities are disinfected daily, according to DOC spokesperson.
Both county jails and state prisons experienced a wave of spread throughout facility populations at the onset of the pandemic in early March. Both have rebounded with efforts to be more proactive as the virus lingers.
The state’s largest prison, the Sterling Correctional Facility, registered two inmate deaths and more than 300 positives in May.
During that same time, one of downtown Denver’s jail’s had 128 positives.
Murphy Robinson, the executive director of Denver’s Department of Safety, said at that time, “We have experienced an uptick in the numbers of the inmates testing positive is because we have chosen to test all inmates coming into the jail.”