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Washington prisoners getting vaccinated for COVID-19 amid outbreak

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 28, 2020

This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient.  (HOGP)
This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (HOGP)

From staff reports

Prison guards and inmates at Airway Heights Corrections Center have begun receiving vaccinations amid widespread COVID-19 outbreaks in Washington state’s prisons.

So far 1,410 prisoners at Airway Heights have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Corrections made the announcement Monday evening as part of new coronavirus infection case reporting guidelines that will be made public each day. Conditions inside the prisons has come under criticism and scrutiny as the coronavirus swept through the inmate population.

The state also is vaccinating staff and inmates at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell. There have been 353 prisoners who have tested positive for COVID-19 at Coyote Ridge.

Officials also reported that there are 834 prisoners infected at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen; 721 infected prisoners at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton; and 790 infected prisoners at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

In all, prison officials reported that 2,595 prisoners have COVID-19 and another 1,677 prisoners have recovered from the illness.

The department said 783 prison staff have been infected.

The vaccines now going to the prisons will be dispensed based on a priority list.

Some of the prisoners who have recovered are returning to work assignments.

Spokane County coronavirus cases

There were 147 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday in Spokane County. Two more people died.

The number brings the December total to 8,073 – or close to about a third of the 25,521 confirmed cases in Spokane County since the pandemic began in March, according to data from the Spokane Regional Health District.

The number of county residents who have died of COVID-19 is 355.

The local case count reported during the past several days are being revised as test results during the holiday are included. That includes a revised 358 cases now attributed to Christmas Day.

The health district reported 65 people are hospitalized.

Cases in the Idaho Panhandle

The Panhandle Health District reported 332 new cases covering Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

There are now 99 people from the five northern counties of Idaho in the hospital.

Since the pandemic began, 15,754 people have tested positive for COVID-19. About 11,360 of those people have recovered. Another 159 have died.

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