Vermont’s Northern State prison declared free of COVID-19

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Vermont’s Northern State Correctional Facility has been declared free of COVID-19, the Department of Corrections says.

The all-clear came after five consecutive rounds of testing at the Newport prison found no cases of the virus among inmates.

Three cases were detected among prison staff, including one during the most recent round of testing on April 15, but contact tracing found that the case posed no threat to the incarcerated population.

The outbreak began Feb. 23 when testing found the virus in one staff member and 21 inmates. A total of 179 incarcerated individuals tested positive during the outbreak.

“We are thankful the Vermont Department of Health has cleared us from all outbreak protocols,” Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are thankful there was not serious illness, and we do not take that fact for granted.”

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