HARRISBURG – Department of Corrections Sec. John Wetzel on Sunday announced that the agency has its first inmate with a positive test for COVID-19.

“An inmate at SCI Phoenix (Montgomery County) with underlying health conditions has tested positive for COVID-19,” Wetzel said. “The inmate is in the prison’s infirmary and is isolated from other inmates.”

SCI Phoenix, which opened in 2018, has special isolation rooms in its infirmary to handle such cases.

Inmates on the housing unit are now under quarantine. Both staff and inmates have been provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and are instructed to wear them on the impacted housing unit.

Officials continue to work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, it was noted.

Officials have traced this inmate’s interaction with other inmates and employees and are isolating impacted inmates to a specific housing unit, DOC officials said. Employees who had contact with the inmate are being monitored for symptoms.

Wetzel said that increased cleaning throughout the prison, including of common areas and inmate cells, continues to take place. Inmates and employees also have been reminded to continue to frequently wash their hands, cover their coughs and sneezes and inform staff if they feel ill.

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