Wyoming DOC Reports Covid-19 Outbreaks at Facilities in Rawlins and Riverton
Cases of COVID-19 have spiked at the Wyoming Honor Farm (WHF) in Riverton and the Wyoming State Penitentiary (WSP) in Rawlins as the omicron wave continues to hit Wyoming.
In the weekly numbers released by the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC), the WHF in Riverton reported 84 positive COVID-19 cases, seven among staff and 77 among inmates, while the WSP in Rawlins reported 164 cases of COVID-19, 34 among staff, and 130 among inmates.
In total the WDOC identified 322 cases of COVID-19 among their five different facilities, with the next highest number of cases in the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington, with 38 total cases, 23 among staff and 15 among inmates.
The previous week, the WDOC found 83 cases of COVID-19 at their five facilities, with the WHF in Riverton and the WSP in Rawlins reporting 14 and 38 cases respectively.
Meanwhile, deaths due to COVID-19 have stayed steady at eight since the beginning of January, up from six at the end of 2021.
Paul Martin, deputy administrator for the Transparency Division for the WDOC, said in an email that they are on modified lockdowns at all their facilities due to the most recent test results.
Martin said they are moving inmates who test positive into isolation units and curtailing operations such as visitation and programming until the numbers fall, with the degree to which they are doing that varying from facility to facility.
We will also be conducting 100% testing of staff and inmates this week at all sites. All intra-system and intake transports are on hold, we are not moving inmates around the state as we normally might.
Based on revised CDC guidance for prison facilities, Martin said they are moving away from giving cloth masks to staff and inmates in favor of surgical masks, which offer more protection against transmitting and contracting COVID-19.
Martin said they are hoping to return to normal operations after the mandatory 10 day isolation period.
By the end of December, the inmate vaccination rate was around 60%, and Martin said that because staff can get vaccinated off-site, they do not track their vaccination rate.
Cases in Wyoming, in general, have increased from on 382 Dec. 27, to 1,662 on Jan. 10, to an all-time high of 4,085 by Jan. 18, down to 1,629 cases on Jan. 26.