Massachusetts prison handles new COVID-19 outbreak – Community News
Covid-19

Massachusetts prison handles new COVID-19 outbreak

A Massachusetts prison faces an outbreak of new COVID-19 cases among inmates and staff.

Nearly 60 inmates and eight Middleton Prison staff have tested positive in two days, a spokesman for the Essex County Sheriff’s Department told The Salem News on Wednesday.

Inmates who test negative will still face trial, spokesman Gretchen Grosky said.

Only three of the eight workers who tested positive reported being vaccinated, Grosky said. Of the inmates who tested positive, 58% reported being vaccinated or vaccinated in custody, she said.

The majority of people who tested positive are asymptomatic, and the others have experienced mild symptoms, she said.

About 60% of the prison’s 700 employees have reported being vaccinated. The prison as an independent entity is not subject to state vaccination mandates, she said, but “we expect to launch mandatory weekly tests for unvaccinated workers soon.”

The most recent report provided to a special master overseeing the response of the state planning system to the pandemic shows that there are just over 1,000 people in custody in Essex County.