CORONAVIRUS

At least 59 inmates at Oakdale prison test positive for coronavirus

New admissions to facility from jails suspended

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Corona
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP)

CORALVILLE — At least 59 inmates at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale have tested positive for coronavirus, prompting the facility to suspend intake of new inmates at the facility.

The facility has run 800 tests in the past week, with 59 inmates testing positive for the virus, Iowa Department of Corrections officials confirmed Wednesday. Testing is continuing, and it’s likely additional inmates will be identified and placed into medical isolation, officials said in a news release.

The facility began testing inmates and staff last week after an inmate in the general population tested positive, officials said. The facility is restricting movement around the facility to prevent the spread.

The facility at Oakdale is the primary entry point into the prison system. The facility typically receives about 65 inmates per week from county jails across the state. With admissions suspended, it means inmates will be held in jails around the state until admissions can be reinstated.

Admissions will resume when the department believes virus spread stops, officials said.

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