CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice ordered COVID-19 testing for all other Huttonsville Correctional Center inmates on Friday, after the mass testing directed earlier this week confirmed 25 additional cases at the Randolph County facility, on top of the two original cases, according to a news release.
Four additional staff there are also positive, making a total of eight positive employees, following two rounds of testing for employees. The enhanced testing and ongoing contact tracing have established connections among several of the positive employees, and between that group and the initial inmate to test positive, officials said.
All positive employees are in good condition and are recovering at home. All the positive inmates are in good or fair condition in medical isolation at the facility, according to the news release.
Justice on Friday also directed the W.Va. National Guard, which completed testing of Huttonsville staff on Thursday, to sanitize affected housing areas, the dining hall and the positive employees’ offices.
The 25 inmates are all among the 40 in the same housing unit as the initial inmate confirmed with COVID-19 on Monday. A second inmate in that unit tested positive Wednesday. Huttonsville is the only state facility with inmates and staff, who have tested positive, officials said.
The four additional staff bring the total number of active cases among DCR employees statewide to eight, and again all are at Huttonsville. Three of those new cases resulted from the National Guard-assisted testing of the overnight and morning shifts on Wednesday. The other positive testcame through contact tracing by local health officials.
The latest results from that tracing process show connections between three of those positive employees. One of those employees shares an office with a fourth positive employee, and that employee was in close proximity to the first inmate confirmed positive.
Also as part of the rapid response, all other inmates at Huttonsville are screened medically daily, including with temperature checks. No other inmates are exhibiting fevers or other symptoms. There are around 1,030 inmates at the facility.
The National Guard tested 203 employees on Wednesday, and an additional 39 on Thursday. The sanitizing effort will begin once all positive cases are identified and moved to medical isolation.