At least 40 inmates and 12 employees at Washington’s Coyote Ridge Corrections Center have been infected by the novel coronavirus – more cases than any other prison in the state has reported.
The numbers were updated Thursday evening on the state Department of Corrections’ website. Statewide, a total of 53 DOC employees and 68 incarcerated people had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the agency.
Coyote Ridge is in Connell, about 35 miles north of the Tri-Cities. The prison started a 10-day quarantine for more than 1,800 inmates on May 26, when the number of positive cases there reached 16.
To slow the spread of the virus, the prison also shut down its food factory, where inmates produce meals for the entire prison system and dozens of external customers.
The Tri-City Herald reported Wednesday that 14 of the sick Coyote Ridge inmates had been transferred to the Airway Heights Corrections Center, where the DOC has set up beds in the prison chapel to serve as a “regional care facility” for inmates infected by the virus.
The second-largest cluster of cases within the DOC – 10 employees and 18 inmates – has occurred at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Snohomish County.
Officials have said they are testing inmates as they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
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