238 inmates test positive for coronavirus at Sterling prison, the largest known outbreak in Colorado

Posted at 7:03 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 12:31:28-04

A Colorado prison is now the site of the state’s largest confirmed COVID-19 outbreak as mass testing confirms that 238 inmates at Sterling Correctional Facility have the virus.

The number of positive cases at the facility spiked as more results from the 472 tests administered last week became available. Of those tested, half were positive. Sixteen tests were inconclusive, 216 were negative and two were still pending Tuesday afternoon, Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman Annie Skinner said in an email.

Four of the sick inmates were in the hospital Tuesday afternoon, Skinner said.

The coronavirus outbreak at the Sterling prison is the largest known in the state, according to data collected by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The existence of large outbreaks in prisons across the country are coming to light as more states conduct mass testing in their facilities. Thousands of prisoners have tested positive nationwide, including many who showed no symptoms.

The round of testing last week is the first time the Colorado Department of Corrections has completed mass testing in one of its facilities. The broad testing began after eight inmates tested positive for the coronavirus at the Sterling prison, which is the largest in the state system. Outside of the mass testing conducted last week, the Department of Corrections has tested 38 inmates. Of those, only one inmate outside of the Sterling prison tested positive and has since recovered.

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