Blair prison inmate tests positive

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The first Blair County Prison inmate to test positive for COVID-19 has been moved into the prison gymnasium.

Warden Abbie Tate, who spoke last week to the prison board about preparing the prison’s gym to house inmates with COVID-19 conditions, said the inmate was moved Monday into the gymnasium.

That inmate’s positive result was one of three tests returned to the prison, Tate said Tuesday. Two were negative.

Because more positive cases are anticipated, the gym was set up for housing, with a shower and an office.

Tate said Tuesday that efforts are also being made to clear a smaller area in the prison that, if needed, could be used to segregate and house inmates

with COVID-19.

“This is being done not because we have the numbers, but because we could have them,” Controller A.C. Stickel said Tuesday.

Stickel said that with the recent increases in positive COVID-19 test results throughout the nation, the state and locally, it’s better to be prepared.

“We cannot afford to wait,” he said.

In the meantime, efforts are ongoing to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus.

“We are trying to limit our movement of inmates within the building, and we’re continuing with cleaning schedules,” Tate said.

The prison, housing 272 inmates as of Tuesday, remains closed to visitors and volunteers.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.


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