SPRUCE PINE, NC – The Avery County-Mitchell Correctional Institute has recently seen a spike in COVID-19 cases, with 70 inmates and three staffers having tested positive.
This is the second Novel Coronavirus outbreak at the facility since July, when six inmates tested positive. Officials are not sure how the virus entered the prison population at either time.
The facility, which houses 800 inmates, has taken precautions to keep the outbreak from spreading further. The infected staffers are in isolation away from the facility, and infected inmates have been segregated from the rest of the prison population.
John Bull of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety says extensive medical protocols are in place and those who need medical help are getting it. “It is very necessary to make sure this doesn’t spread like wildfire throughout the prison population.”
Other outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred at other facilities in the state prison system and in some county facilities, including the Buncombe County Detention Center.