Over 170 Active COVID-19 Cases Reported at SCI Forest
According to information from Maria A. Bivens, Press Secretary for the PA Department of Corrections, on Thursday, January 7, SCI Forest had an inmate who was housed in one of the dorms develop COVID-like symptoms.
Officials at the facility administered an antigen test, and the result was positive. As a result of that active positive inmate, they then tested 178 inmates using both the antigen and PCR tests. 138 of those tests came back positive.
Bivens reported that the plan moving forward is to mass test the entire facility, beginning on Thursday, January 14. Following the testing, positive cases will be separated from negative cases, and the staff will be working to identify symptomatic inmates needing a higher level of care, to protect the vulnerable inmate population, and to “move towards a healthy and safe operational schedule.”
According to the information provided, the total number of positive inmate cases reported at SCI Forest is 201, but of those cases, only 173 are active positive cases. SCI Forest has also had one COVID-related inmate death.
Of the reported cases, 103 have been asymptomatic thus far. There are also 20 active positive cases reported among SCI Forest staff.
Bivens noted SCI Forest has been following all of the statewide mitigation efforts, including placing inmates in “cohorts” since March of 2020, issuing masks/PPE to all staff and inmates, strict sanitizing and cleaning schedules, encouraging social distancing, and frequent hand washing.
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