Midlands Prison Covid-19 Outbreak – No further prisoner cases
Monday 2nd November 2020, 17.45pm.
- No further cases of Covid-19 in prison population
- A number of staff cases confirmed.
- 810 prisoners screened by prison healthcare teams
- Contract tracing process carried out by local teams
The Irish Prison Service can confirm that following the completion of the mass testing of all prisoners in Midlands Prison, that no further positive cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed amongst the prison population.
The Irish Prison Service can confirm however, that a number of staff at the Midlands Prison have tested positive for Covid-19 and contact tracing has commenced in this regard.
Following the confirmation last week of a positive prisoner case the Irish Prison Service and Midland Prison management implemented a comprehensive contingency plan to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to the wider prison population. This was a major logistical operation and included arrangements for the mass testing of all prisoners and staff in Midlands and the introduction of a restricted regime within the prison.
The Irish Prison Service is continuing to work closely with HSE/Public Health and arrangements are being made with the HSE for the re-testing of all prisoners and staff, later this week, in order to provide an assured response to the current outbreak in Midlands Prison. This will support a return to a more normal prison regime as soon as possible.
The Director General of the Irish Prison Service Caron McCaffrey today visited the Midlands Prison to meet with the Midlands Prison management and staff and National Infection Control Team (NICT), to review the operational and infection control arrangements in place. The Director General commended all staff involved in the response saying,
“The key aim of our response to Covid-19 has been, in the first instance, to keep Covid-19 out of our prisons but secondly and equally important to ensure that if an outbreak occurs that we have robust procedures and plans in place to prevent the spread of the virus amongst the prison population. For the past 9 months we have been preparing for a possible outbreak of infection and since Friday Midlands Prison staff have expertly implemented this plan and protected the people in their care”.
“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Midlands Prison management including all Healthcare, prison staff, and our National Infection Control Team, the staff representatives and all our service providers for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Service. Unfortunately a number of staff have tested positive and we send them our best wishes and hope that they recover fully and quickly”.
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Note to Editors
- The Midlands Prison is a closed, medium security prison for adult males. It is the committal prison for counties Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.
- The Prison Governor is Mr Eddie Mullins.
- The Prison has a capacity of 870. On 2nd November 2020 there were 802 prisoners in custody in the prison.