MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An inmate at Minnesota’s corrections facility in Moose Lake has tested positive for COVID-19, as has a staff member from the Red Wing corrections facility.

Additionally, four tests are still pending for inmates at Moose Lake, Lino Lakes, Stillwater, and Faribault facilities. There have been 17 tests that have turned up negative for the virus.

“We have been working directly with epidemiology staff from the Department of Health for several weeks to plan for the known likelihood of staff and inmate cases of COVID-19,” Commissioner Paul Schnell said. “We are taking all reasonable steps to minimize the spread with the state’s correctional facilities, and we are implementing methods to protect those most at risk medically.”

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The department of corrections reports that a number of conditions have been put into place in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing, modifying the intake process, enhancing handwashing and sanitizing procedures, and waiving medical co-pays in order to encourage reporting of flu-like symptoms among inmates.

“We continue our efforts to balance public health concerns inside the prisons with the need to offer prosocial therapeutic, educational, recreational and phone visiting activities. As an agency, we continue our preventative measures as part of our effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 within the prisons,” Schnell said.

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