UPDATE: Sen. Manchin issues statement regarding COVID-19 case at FCI Gilmer

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MORGANTOWN, WV (WVNS) — Following the announcement of a positive COVID-19 case at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Gilmer, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) issued a statement. The illness was diagnosed after out-of-state prisoners were transferred to the facility.

“When the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced their plans to send additional inmates to facilities in Glenville and Hazelton this was what we feared would happen. This reckless decision on the part of BOP has endangered our hardworking correctional officers and their families, the entire community and the other inmates in the facility. I have asked BOP to conduct a thorough investigation and am awaiting the results of that investigation. I hope this will deter the BOP from transferring additional out-of-state inmates to West Virginia.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

ORIGINAL STORY (WBOY) — United States Penitentiary, Hazelton employees and community members gathered off of the Pierpont Road exit in Morgantown Saturday morning to protest the transfer of prison inmates from the D.C. system due to COVID-19.

Richard Heldreth, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 420 President at FCC Hazleton confirmed a prisoner from FCI Gilmer has tested positive for the coronavirus days after inmates were transferred to the prison earlier this week. 

“We knew this was coming,” said Heldreth. “It’s just very sad that we knew we could have stopped it, the bureau prisons could have stopped it, some of our staff was on that transport as well so now they’re possibly affected so it’s horrible.”

Transfers to both prisons are currently on hold according to Heldreth but more prisoners could still be sent to West Virginia in the coming weeks.

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