Wyoming to test all inmates, corrections officials for coronavirus

Wyoming to test all inmates, corrections officials for coronavirus
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Wyoming will test all inmates and employees at its five correctional facilities next week, the state Department of Corrections announced Wednesday. 

On Monday Wyoming will start a one-time testing of all inmates and employees at the state's five correctional institutions in rotation. Wyoming Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert said in a statement that once the state’s baseline is established, the corrections department will institute “ongoing surveillance testing” in the manner as done in nursing homes to maintain “the safest possible living and work environment.”

Wyoming has had no confirmed COVID-19 cases among its incarcerated population, making it and Hawaii the only two states not reporting coronavirus cases among their prison populations, according to the Wyoming Corrections Department. 

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“We want to confirm our zero COVID-19 status,” Lampert said, according to the statement.

“Due to the recent uptick in the incidence rate of COVID-19 in various communities in Wyoming, we want to be extra cautious.”

The department of corrections also said that other restrictions and requirements continue to remain in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, including limiting the size of grouping and requiring face coverings when indoors or within six feet of others. 

Family visitation also remains suspended, but inmates have been given access to two free phone calls per week and have scheduled access to video visitation, according to the department. 

Wyoming’s health department has reported 1,428 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 346 probable cases and 21 COVID-19 related deaths.