Snyder County Prison

The Snyder County Prison.

Nine more Snyder County Prison inmates and an undisclosed number of staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since the facility had its first case earlier this month.

Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz confirmed the additional cases on Thursday. All of the infected inmates are being held in quarantine at the jail located outside of Selinsgrove.

"We do have employees who have tested positive but we can not give out numbers due to security reasons," he said.

The first positive coronavirus case was detected on Jan. 6 after an asymptomatic inmate who had been in the 135-bed facility for four months was scheduled to be transferred to state prison. The transfer has been delayed while the inmate is held in isolation for 14 days.

Other inmates who had been exposed to him were tested and nine more positive cases were found. All involve male inmates, Warden Shawn Cooper said.

"No one has needed to be hospitalized (and) only a few have even presented mild symptoms," he said.

Only a couple of staff are in quarantine due to COVID-19 and there are no staffing issues, Cooper said.

"We are limiting the number of staff that have any contact with the quarantined unit and we are using all the guidelines, PPEs, constant sanitation of the area, washing hands and wearing N95 masks," he said.

Cooper said the prison now is able to provide on-site rapid testing which provides a more prompt result.

He has still not determined how the inmate who first tested positive contracted the virus.

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