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COVID case at Carbon prison

COVID-19 has been found at the Carbon County Correctional Facility in Nesquehoning.

Sheriff Anthony Harvilla said a man was admitted to the facility Wednesday on criminal charges and later tested positive for the virus.

“Following prison protocols developed in accordance with CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines and adopted at the outset of the pandemic, the individual was placed in isolation, by himself, pending the results of a COVID-19 test. Inmates admitted to the facility who test “positive” must remain in solo isolation until they show no signs of illness and are subject to two successive “negative” COVID-19 tests before they can be moved to other areas of the facility or placed in general population, Harvilla said in a statement.

“On the afternoon of Sept. 18, 2020, the facility was notified that the subject tested ‘positive’ for COVID-19. The inmate remains in isolation,” he said.

Prison administration contacted Human Resources who followed the COVID-19 policy adopted by the county for contact tracing, quarantine, and testing.

“Twelve prison employees who were deemed to have had direct contact with the inmate were directed to self-quarantine until they can be tested,” Harvilla said.

“Prison officials were able to manage the schedules of the remaining work force to adequately cover those positions affected.”

All employees have been tested and results are pending.

“The Prison Board is confident that all procedures and policies adopted at the outset of this pandemic were followed in this case. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Prison Board, the courts, and county administration have been diligent regarding the need to place safeguards at the prison to ensure the safety of employees and inmates,” Harvilla said.

Work release, weekend sentences, treatment services and visitation were suspended at the outset of the pandemic.

Some practices are gradually being reimplemented with proper safety precautions.

“We will continue to monitor the prison to ensure safe protocols until the threat posed by COVID-19 is over,” Harvilla said.