Monday evening, Vermont Department of Corrections announced that a staff member at Northern State Correctional Facility had tested positive for Coronavirus. The staff member did not have access to the secure portion of the facility where the inmate population is housed, said officials. The staff member last worked on Tuesday, March 17, and DOC has obtained a list of all staff who had contact with the individual on their last day of work.
“The department is extending our support to this staff member in light of this news,” said Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker. “We respect the heath care privacy of our staff and will not provide information that could lead to the identification of any staff member who may contract COVID-19.”
With guidance from the Department of Health, DOC took steps to further protect the employees and inmates at the facility, including a deep cleaning of the areas where the staff member worked and increased messaging to staff and inmates about hand washing and hygiene. All staff entering a correctional facility are screened for symptoms, including a fever. Staff who present with symptoms are sent home in line with the guidance from the Department of Human Resources and instructed to contact their primary care provider, stated the DOC release, which added at this time, no inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.
Northern State Correctional Facility has 128 staff and an inmate population of 402. The overall population for all six facilities in the state was 1,567 as of Monday. This is a decrease of 89 inmates since March 16, 2020.