Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune is providing free access to critical stories about the coronavirus. Sign up for our Top Stories newsletter, sent to your inbox every weekday morning. To support journalism like this, please donate or become a subscriber.
The Utah State Prison in Draper has its first confirmed case of COVID-19.
The Utah Department of Corrections announced confirmation of the positive test Friday. The department would not release the inmate’s name or housing location. The inmate is a man, between 18 and 24.
The inmate has been isolated, and is in stable condition, a department spokeswoman said in a news release.
The inmate arrived at the Draper prison from a county jail — the department won’t say which one — on Wednesday. He was tested and confirmed within 48 hours of arriving at the prison. He was housed with only a small group of other inmates who came into the prison at the same time.
Starting back on May 20, the corrections department began bringing in inmates from county jails or Adult Probation and Parole once a week. All inmates are tested for COVID-19 shortly after they arrive, and new inmates are kept separated from the general prison population for two weeks after they arrive.
According to the release, the department follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, and coordinates with state and local health officials, to follow all containment steps — including isolating infected inmates and giving them frequent health checks, working with public health experts on quarantine procedures and contact tracing, and enacting proper cleaning protocols.
“We are working actively to contain any potential spread of COVID-19 within our facilities,” Mike Haddon, the corrections department’s executive director, said in a statement.
Salt Lake County jails had 17 prisoners who tested positive for COVID-19 as of April 21. The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office in April stopped reporting the number of cases it had handled, citing pending litigation.