Vt. Corrections: 2 Marble Valley staff infected with COVID-19

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 6:09 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2020 at 5:11 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Was there a breakdown following COVID protocols at a Vermont prison? Two staff members at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland tested positive for the virus and the infections are raising questions with corrections leaders. It comes as additional Vermont inmates at a Mississippi facility have also tested positive for the virus.

Back in July, six inmates were transferred from the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility to Marble Valley. They all tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival and were placed into medical isolation. There was also another positive inmate who was already at the Rutland facility in isolation. They are all asymptomatic. But during routine testing at the beginning of August, two corrections officers tested positive. They are showing symptoms and are in quarantine at home.

"We are trying to figure out if and where our protocols broke down in order for our staff to be positive. That's not to blame anybody, it's to try and figure out where they were exposed and to try and figure out how to repair, if in fact our protocols broke down," said Vt. Corrections Commissioner James Baker.

Officials say that out of the 219 Vermont inmates in Mississippi, 176 have tested positive. But officials say 119 of them have not shown symptoms in 10 days. They are watching four for symptoms and one is hospitalized.

Baker says the state is thinking about sending another team to Mississippi to ensure all protocols continue to be followed there. As for Marble Valley, officials say everyone at that facility will be tested again Tuesday.

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