No staff members at USP Lewisburg experienced symptoms related to COVID-19 following an outbreak among inmates that resulted in 35 cases, according to the latest update from a federal prison bureau spokesperson.
“An extensive staff contact investigation was completed; this identified all staff with any potential exposure. All staff are screened for COVID-19 related symptoms prior to entering the facility per CDC guidance. Any staff member experiencing symptoms will not be allowed entry,” Justin Long, public affairs officer, Federal Bureau of Prisons, said Monday.
“While the institution has tested all inmates identified as possibly being exposed, we cannot require that staff members be tested for COVID-19,” Long said.
All inmates continue to be restricted in their cells to mitigate the potential spread of the virus, Long said. There are 1,047 inmates at the penitentiary, according to the prison website. Another 267 inmates are adjudicated to the prison’s camp where Long said the virus hadn’t spread.
Staff at USP Lewisburg restricted inmates to their cells inside the federal penitentiary Thursday after the first positive case of COVID-19 was discovered, Long said previously. That spurred testing of “every inmate housed in the isolated area” of USP Lewisburg that had potential exposure, he said.
As of Monday, 35 inmates had active COVID-19 cases, according to the latest update to a Bureau website tracking the disease within the federal prison system. That figure hasn’t updated since Saturday.
Long said the outbreak spurred contact tracing to identify potential exposures. Staff made “frequent rounds” in the housing units to conduct wellness checks. Inmates reporting associated symptoms of the disease results in health screenings, isolation and virus testing, Long said.
Inmates wear masks in common areas and are distanced from each other.