CORONAVIRUS

Inmates at 2 Iowa prisons to be tested for virus

Anamosa, Mitchellville responding to positive cases

The Anamosa State Penitentiary will begin mass coronavirus testing of inmates after positive cases were confirmed at the
The Anamosa State Penitentiary will begin mass coronavirus testing of inmates after positive cases were confirmed at the prison, the Iowa Department of Corrections said Friday. (Gazette photo)

DES MOINES — Mass testing is being arranged for the inmates and staff at state prisons in Anamosa and Mitchellville after coronavirus cases at the two facilities were confirmed.

The movement of inmates within the prisons will be restricted, in an effort to reduce spreading the virus at the Anamosa State Penitentiary and the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.

In addition, video visitations have been suspended, the Iowa Department of Corrections announced Friday.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1,200 inmates and more than 200 staff members have recovered from COVID-19, and four inmates died, the department said in a news release.

If any additional cases of COVID-19 are identified in mass testing, the inmates will be placed in medical isolation or quarantine units. Staff will notify the inmate’s emergency contact immediately, the news release said.

Updates will be posted at https://doc.iowa.gov/COVID19.

For members of the public with questions about COVID-19 in the prison system, a hotline is available during business hours, Monday through Friday, by calling (515) 373-5457.

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