Middleton Jail outbreak down to 15 cases

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BOSTON (SHNS) – The number of active cases of COVID-19 at the Middleton Jail and House of Correction has fallen from a high of 137 to just 15, Essex County Sheriff Kevin Coppinger announced on Thursday.

The news of the successful containment of the virus comes just days after Gov. Charlie Baker said communities like Middleton should not be treated differently just because their outbreaks occur in facilities where the infected are isolated behind prison bars and pose no risk to the public.

The jail outbreak pushed Middleton into the state’s red high-risk category, impacting the pace at which its businesses can reopen and welcome back customers. Coppinger said 72 percent of the 137 positive cases were detected after the jail decided to test all inmates, staff and vendors between Oct. 3 and Oct. 6. No inmates have been hospitalized.

“We used testing as an investigatory tool to identify positive cases and isolate those carriers of the virus. Once we identified the positive cases, our healthcare provider WellPath monitored each person daily, provided care and comfort, and made the determination of who was medically recovered according to strict state and federal guidelines,” Coppinger said.

Visitation remains temporarily suspended at the jail.

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