• 46°

Three offenders at Albemarle Correctional Institution test positive for COVID-19, along with 11 staff

Three offenders at the Albemarle Correctional Institution tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to John Bull, communications officer for North Carolina’s prison system.

They are in medical isolation and other offenders in their housing unit are under medical quarantine with close observation and twice-daily temperature checks, Bull said.

In addition to the offenders, 11 staff members have also contracted the virus. Ten of them are off the job and the other is presumed to have recovered, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health guidelines, and is back at work, Bull said.

Health Department Director David Jenkins confirmed the news about the outbreak. The SNAP reported late last week that five staff members had tested positive for the virus.

Bull said contact tracing is underway to determine who else may have had unprotected exposure to COVID-19 positive staff members so they also can be tested.

A total of nine tests have been performed on offenders at the facility so far, with six coming back negative.

Since the pandemic began, Bull said, 156 of the roughly 14,000 N.C. Prisons employees have either self-reported testing positive through their testing provider of choice or have tested positive through mass staff testing at Neuse Correctional or Caswell Correctional, or through the state-wide FastMed/LabCorp partnership.

According to data listed on the Department of Public Safety website, 2,736 tests have been performed on offenders in correctional facilities across the state, with 713 of them positive. A total of 634 offenders have recovered.

As of Monday afternoon, Jenkins said there have been 167 confirmed cases in Stanly with five deaths. Statewide, there have been 45,102 cases, with 797 people currently hospitalized and 1,118 people having died.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

email author More by Chris