The Department of Corrections confirmed four active cases of COVID-19 at SCI-Coal Township.

"While our online dashboard shows 15 active inmate COVID-19 cases at SCI Coal Township, the prison informed me they only have four active cases," according to state Department of Corrections spokesperson Susan McNaughton. "The DOC and its facilities closely monitor COVID-19, and staff works quickly and aggressively to mitigate its impact on our system and facilities."

McNaughton said none of the inmates that tested positive are hospitalized.

"Those four inmates are isolated," she said. "All four were parole violators returned to the system. SCI Coal Township is one of three state correctional facilities that accept parole violators." 

McNaughton said parole violators are tested for COVID-19 upon return to the prison system and remain isolated until the results are received.

"If the results are positive and they are asymptomatic, they would remain in enhanced isolation, and the entire housing unit would be quarantined," she said.

"Part of the enhanced quarantine includes increased temperature and symptom checks by medical staff. If they are symptomatic, they would remain isolated and would be provided medical care as needed." 

McNaughton said the department of corrections and its facilities use contact tracing to ensure that anyone who has been in contact with an individual who has tested positive is notified, isolated or quarantined and provided frequent medical checks. 

Northumberland County Court Administrator Kevin O'Hearn said no state inmate has been transported to the county courthouse since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. 

"We have been utilizing videos with state prisons and will continue for the foreseeable future," he said. "Should an inmate need to be transported due to the nature of the hearing, we will evaluate but most likely the hearing would be continued. All of these things during these times are subject to change daily."

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