Large COVID-19 outbreak at Bethel jail

Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center (Aleina Tanabe/KYUK)

There is a large outbreak of COVID-19 at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel. As of Dec. 3, there were 46 inmates with active cases at the Bethel jail. Since the pandemic began, a total of 65 inmates and nine staff members have tested positive for the virus.

Alaska Department of Corrections Spokesperson Sarah Gallagher said inmates who test positive for COVID-19 have been placed together in a separate cohort due to the limited number of individual cells. Gallagher said they are monitored daily for symptoms and receive medical care when necessary.

Gallagher said the remaining inmates in affected parts of the facility are being tested every three days, and this testing schedule would continue until no new positive cases were identified for 14 days.

Staff are advised to get tested if they are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Gallagher said staff members are required to either receive a negative test result or quarantine for 14 days before returning to work. Employees also have their temperatures checked before every shift.

There are 207 inmates at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center. The maximum capacity of the jail is 232 inmates.

KYUK - Bethel

KYUK is our partner station in Bethel. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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