West Virginia correctional center employee positive for COVID-19


FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. Wide scale testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with the test kits the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS) says a part-time employee at the Huttonsville Correctional Center has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting additional precautions at that facility.

The department says the individual is quarantined at home in good condition. The person has been serving as a temporary correctional officer and last worked a shift of fewer than four hours on May 14, according to DMAPS. The employee reported experiencing a headache that evening and was tested for COVID-19 the following day. The test result came back positive over the weekend.

All indications show the employee had minimal contact with inmates or fellow staff. The department says the employee had supervised three inmates on the facility’s recreation yard, from a distance and while wearing a mask the entire shift. Those inmates and their unit, a dorm with 44 beds, have been quarantined as a precaution, according to DMAPS.

Huttonsville and the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) continue to coordinate with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health and the Randolph County Health Department regarding quarantine and testing protocols.

The Huttonsville employee is the second among DCR’s 3,260 personnel to test positive. The first, a correctional officer at the South Central Regional Jail, had been self-quarantining since April 15 when they tested positive on April 23, DMAPS says. That officer has since recovered, been medically cleared after testing negative, and returned to duty.

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