UPDATE: After Pierre prison COVID-19 outbreak, mass testing was conducted

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 11:11 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA) - UPDATE, 5:01 p.m.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) conducted a mass-testing event at the Pierre Community Work Center (PCWC) under the Department of Health’s guidance on Sept. 14, according to Michael Winder the Communications and Information Manager for the state Department of Corrections.

The mass testing confirmed one more positive compared to yesterday, the DOC reported.

As of Sept. 17, there are 102 inmates housed at PCWC and 307 inmates housed in the Women’s Prison and Unit E.

Inmates who previously tested positive and tested positive during the mass testing were moved to the PCWC. Those who tested negative were moved to the Wome’s Prison. Those inmates who were identified as close contacts to those who tested positive are on quarantine status at the Women’s Prison.

Inmates in Pierre are not being allowed to go out into the community for work release or community service projects. Visitation, programming and contact with volunteers are suspended.

The Department of Corrections reported more than 100 inmates in a South Dakota prison tested positive for COVID-19.

The Pierre Community Work Center went from 19 to 105 Wednesday, the Department of Corrections said. The active cases among those inmates stand at 102.

On Sept. 3, DOC reported the first positive case among female inmates, two more were reported on Sept. 4.

No deaths of inmates or staff due to COVID-19 have been reported.

The Pierre Community Work Center is a minimum-security section of the women’s prison that houses work release and community service status, and parolees in the Community Transition Program. The work center was the first in the state to report a case of COVID-19 in March, which led to more than 150 inmates being put under observation.

There were 140 inmates at the center as of Aug. 31.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.

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