W.Va. Corrections focusing COVID-19 testing at Huttonsville after inmate tests positive

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV)-- West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation has enlisted the West Virginia National Guard and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resource's Bureau of Public Health to increase COVID-19 testing at Huttonsville Correctional Center after an inmate tested positive overnight.

According to a news release from DMAPS, the inmate that tested positive is a 62-year-old man. He is in good condition and in medical isolation.

This is the first confirmed case among inmates at DCR facilities, DMAPS officials said.

DMAPS officials say the positive inmate had exhibited symptoms, triggering testing under DCR’s response plan for COVID-19. Huttonsville will now expand this testing, starting with the inmate’s now-quarantined housing unit.

The Bureau of Public Health and DCR's medical provider, Weford Health Sources, will provide the necessary equipment and personnel, according to DMAPS officials. The National Guard will assist making testing available to all officers and staff.

The testing is slated to begin Wednesday.

DMAPS officials say the case is believed to be unrelated to that of a temporary, part-time employee at the facility who tested positive over the weekend. That employee, who is quarantined at home and in good condition, had supervised three other inmates from a separate housing unit during his last shift there May 14 in the recreation yard. Those three inmates have since tested negative.

All DCR facilities have following the agency's response plan throughout the pandemic, according to DMAPS officials. All facilities also have personal protective equipment, including enough cloth protective face coverings for every inmate and staff member. All staff are required to wear masks, and that has been extended to Huttonsville’s inmates as well.