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First case of COVID-19 in a North Carolina state prison confirmed

The individual first showed symptoms on March 24, and was immediately quarantined. He tested for COVID-19 the next day. The test came back positive on April 1.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

RALEIGH, N.C. — Officials announced the first case of an individual in custody at a North Carolina state prison testing positive for COVID-19. An offender at the minimum custody unit of the Caledonia Correctional Complex in Tillery tested positive.

The individual is a male in his 60s. Given his right to medical privacy and the confidentiality of prison offender records, he will not be identified.

“We have prepared long and hard for this day,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons in a statement. “This is not a surprise and we are following the infectious disease protocols we have in place for exactly this type of situation. Our top priority is the health and safety of our staff and the men and women in our care.”

The offender is in isolation, and the prison is being treated by licensed medical staff. Officials say the individual first showed symptoms on March 24, and was immediately quarantined. He tested for COVID-19 the next day. The test came back positive on April 1. 

The person involved is in stable condition.

In accordance with CDC guidelines, the entire minimum unit was placed on quarantine. The housing dorm the offender was assigned to was placed on lockdown except for the regulated recreational time. 

Offenders in that housing assignment will be served their meals in their dorm for the time being. Additionally, all offenders and staff are being issued masks to wear.

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