33 inmates infected with coronavirus in Fairbanks prison

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – A coronavirus outbreak has infected 33 inmates at a Fairbanks jail, putting the facility under 14 days in quarantine, state officials said Saturday.

Thirty-two of the cases at Fairbanks Correctional Center are men and one is a woman, the Alaska Department of Corrections said in a statement. All those infected were housed in the general population, the department said.

Other inmates are being tested for coronavirus, and results are expected Monday, the department said.

The inmates with the corona virus are isolated in a separate section of the prison. The facility serves Northern Alaska and has male and female inmates, some of whom are serving sentences and others are awaiting trial.

The Department of Corrections “has been proactive in preventing the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in our facilities, even before the first positive case was identified in Alaska,” said Nancy Dahlstrom, the department’s commissioner. “While we never wanted to have this day, the outbreak at FCC is an eventuality the department has been preparing for. Our focus at this point is on protecting those in the facility who are most vulnerable and identifying any additional cases in the facility. ”

In most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, which resolve within two to three weeks.

But for some – especially older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions – it can cause more serious illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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