Crime and Justice

New inmate at Marble Valley in Rutland tests positive for Covid-19

Marble Valley Regional Correction Facility
Officials say the newly arrived Covid-positive prisoner did not come into contact with other inmates at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland. Photo by Jim Therrien/VTDigger

An inmate extradited from Florida and brought into the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland has tested positive for Covid-19, Mike Smith, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services, said Wednesday. 

According to Smith, the inmate was quarantined as he was brought into the facility, per the Department of Correction intake procedures.

“DOC’s policies kept him from having any contact with the general population,” Smith said  during one of Gov. Phil Scott’s thrice-weekly Covid-19 press conferences, adding that the inmate remains quarantined in a negative pressure cell at the facility.

The secretary said contact tracing, which will include testing of staff who transported the inmate, is underway in coordination with the state Department of Health. 

“Depending on the tracing, we’ll determine what kind of testing is involved, including facility-wide testing,” Smith said. 

Rachel Feldman, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, said Wednesday afternoon that the Covid-19 positive inmate came into the facility Tuesday, June 8.

As a new inmate into the facility, according to Feldman, he was placed in quarantine for seven days. At the end of that seven days, this Tuesday, as per DOC protocol he was tested, with the result coming back later that night showing that he was Covid-19 positive.

Feldman said the inmate did not show any symptoms for the coronavirus. He will remain in quarantine for at least seven days and will need a negative test result before being moved to the general population, she added.

Previously, incorrect information provided by state officials stated that the man arrived at the facility this Tuesday and he was symptomatic for Covid-19.

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The positive test comes a week after the corrections department completed testing of inmates and staff across the six prisons in the state. Those results showed that as of last week there were no identified Covid-19 cases in the state’s prisons. 

The only other prison to have an inmate test positive was the Northwest Regional Correctional Facility in Swanton. A total of 45 inmates during an April outbreak had tested positive for the coronavirus, however there were no deaths from that outbreak. 

Mike Smith
Mike Smith, secretary of the Agency of Human Services, speaks at a press briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak on March 20. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

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