The Utah Department of Corrections officials confirmed last week the first coronavirus outbreak to occur in female housing at the state prison since the beginning of the pandemic.
The outbreak at the Timpanogos facility in Draper has affected “several” women, who started experiencing symptoms early last week. They then received rapid tests for COVID-19, which came back positive, officials say.
Corrections officials didn’t release the exact number of women who have tested positive, nor does the state prison’s COVID-19 dashboard separate cases by gender.
The positive tests meant that two sectors of housing at the facility, Timpanogos 1 and Timpanogos 2, were put into quarantine; though only Timpanogos 2 was considered by the state to have a confirmed outbreak. Large-scale testing of residents also began in the Timpanogos sites, the results of which have yet to be reported by corrections officials.
The quarantine means a “modified lockdown” for those in affected sectors of the prison, which largely means limited out-of-cell time for the inmates — one prisoner at a time may leave a cell, and only for personal hygiene or telephone access, according to the state’s procedures.
Overall, among those in the Utah State Prison, the Central Utah Correctional Facility, and state inmates housed at county jails, there have been 3,066 inmates who have tested positive for the coronavirus so far. Of those, 2,966 have been medically designated as recovered from the coronavirus.
Fifteen state inmates — all men — have died due to COVID-19 so far, while 123 are considered to have active cases.
In addition, 379 staff members have tested positive, 322 of whom are considered recovered.
The sick inmates are treated at the Department of Corrections’ Clinical Services Bureau, which operates health clinics at the Utah State Prison and the Central Utah Correctional Facility. If the disease becomes more serious, then state officials contract with hospitals to get treatment.