At least 27 people incarcerated at the Huttonsville Correctional Center and eight employees have tested positive this week for the coronavirus, according to the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.
Due to this increase, Gov. Jim Justice is ordering the West Virginia National Guard to test all prisoners at the Randolph County facility.
Originally, Justice had only called on the Guard to test roughly 40 exposed prisoners, who had been living in the same unit as the first known positive case, and all Huttonsville staff. DMAPS said in a news release that employees were screening all roughly 1,030 prisoners at Huttonsville daily.
DMAPS confirmed 25 additional cases among prisoners Friday evening. The prisoners are in good condition and are in isolation at the facility.
Four more employees also tested positive, bringing that to a total of eight personnel who are recovering from home. So far, the Guard has tested 242 Huttonsville employees.
Through contact tracing and testing, the Guard has “established connections among several of the positive employees, and between that group and the initial inmate to test positive,” DMAPS stated.
The Guard will begin sanitizing efforts after identifying and isolating all the people who have tested positive at Huttonsville.
Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.