Inmates have been placed on restricted movement and testing is ongoing, the state’s Department of Corrections said Monday
YACOLT — A COVID-19 outbreak at Larch Corrections Center has infected over 200 inmates, according to the Washington State Department of Corrections (WSDOC).
On Dec. 31, WSDOC said six inmates had tested positive at the facility near Yacolt. By Monday, the number had grown to 218, according to a departmental memo.
The facility, which has a maximum inmate capacity of 480, said that inmates who had tested positive were being quarantined together to help limit the spread and address space concerns.
Larch Superintendent James C. Miller said in a memo dated Dec. 30 that “we have reached a point in time in which we will have to take additional steps to limit the potential exposure of COVID-19 to the LCC incarcerated population.”
That includes moving to “Restricted Movement” status, limiting access to prisoner activities, call-outs, and other services. Regular testing was also planned, along with upgraded guidance for the use of personal protective equipment.
“We understand that this pandemic and the changes in our procedures can be stressful for the incarcerated individuals and their loved ones,” Miller wrote. “On behalf of the entire staff of this facility, please know that every step taken is to ensure those under our jurisdiction are safe and healthy.”
As of Jan. 4, WSDOC says a total of 4,894 inmates have tested positive, 1,792 of which are still considered active. That’s out of an average daily population statewide of 15,111. In addition, 863 prison staff have also tested positive.