Health Care

Southern State Correctional Facility contends with surge in Covid cases

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Southern State
Southern State Correctional Facility. File photo by Phoebe Sheehan/VTDigger

More than three dozen people incarcerated at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield were positive for Covid-19 on Friday, according to Department of Corrections data.

Southern State’s positive cases were propelled higher by 24 new positive tests on Thursday, the department reported. The 39 total cases on Friday — down from 40 on Thursday — is the highest number across the prison system, the data showed. 

A total of 90 incarcerated residents were positive for Covid as of Friday afternoon, the DOC reported.

Some cases have been medically cleared and others have been added between Thursday and Friday, according to Rachel Feldman, a Department of Corrections spokesperson.

Numbers at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury and Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton were in the 20s on Friday afternoon, with 27 and 21 positive cases, respectively. 

Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington followed with one incarcerated individual testing positive. Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland and Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport have no reported Covid cases.

Department of Corrections policy allows for each facility to be in one of four phases depending on its levels of Covid, based on exposure, risk and mitigation needs of each facility, Feldman said. 

“We can move up or down in phase at any point in time depending on the covid levels in any given facility,” Feldman said. Phase four is the endemic phase, which is least restrictive, while phase one indicates lockdown in a facility due to outbreak. 

The Southern, Northwest and Northeast facilities are in phase two. The other facilities remain in phase three.

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Kori Skillman

About Kori

Kori Skillman recently earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, with a focus on visual craft and short documentary. She also holds degrees in journalism and international business from San Diego State University. Kori worked this year as a press intern at the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

Email: [email protected]

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