COVID-19 outbreaks continue to grow in Alaska prisons

Goose Creek Correctional Center
Goose Creek Correctional Center. (Photo by Ellen Lockyer/Alaska Public Media)

Two weeks into an outbreak, the number of COVID-19 cases at Goose Creek Correctional Center in Point MacKenzie keeps climbing.

The facility now has 204 cases, all of which are active, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections. That is an increase of more than 90 since the last report eight days ago.

The facility is the state’s largest prison and currently houses over 1,300 prisoners, according to the Alaska Justice Information Center.

Another ongoing outbreak at the Fairbanks Correctional Center continues to turn up new cases. There have been a total of 158 COVID-19 cases there. Seven of those cases are recent and considered active.

Sarah Gallagher, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, wrote in an email that both facilities are conducting regular testing of inmates every three days. Those tests will be ongoing until there are no positive tests for 14 straight days.

However, Gallagher said that at the Fairbanks Correctional Center where cases have been spreading for over a month, some inmates are refusing to be tested. She said that at Goose Creek, compliance with testing is “generally good.”