4 staff members at Juneau’s Lemon Creek Correctional Center test positive for COVID-19

Lemon Creek Correctional Center
Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Update (Tuesday, 6:27 p.m.)Rashah McChesney, KTOO

Two more people who work at Juneau’s jail have tested positive for COVID-19. That means six staff at the facility have the virus. (Read more)

Original story

Four recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Juneau are all correctional officers at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

According to the Alaska Department of Corrections, there are currently no known cases of COVID-19 among inmates at the facility.

All staff and inmates have been issued cloth face masks.

According to a release from the City and Borough of Juneau, the new cases were reported on Friday, Sunday and Monday. The results from the latest confirmed case came in Monday but will be included in Tuesday’s statewide numbers due to reporting protocols.

Lemon Creek authorities became aware of the first confirmed case among a staff member last week. They informed inmates and staff on Thursday that they had been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

State epidemiologists are working with the department to trace close contacts among the facility’s inmates and staff.

The facility implemented a response plan but it has not shared the details of that plan, citing security issues.

In an email Monday, DOC spokesperson Sarah Gallagher wrote that 32 staff members at the facility have been tested since last week when the first case was confirmed. Four inmates have also been tested. All four had negative results.

As of Monday, the inmate population at the facility was 217 inmates, according to DOC — down from 248 a month ago. The facility also has about 85 staff working four shifts under normal circumstances.

Juneau has now had 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Ten of those cases have recovered.

This story has been updated. 

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