Officials say over 100 inmates staged a protest when six inmates and five staff members tested positive for coronavirus
Fox5 reports inmates at a Washington state prison staged a large protest following new coronavirus diagnoses at the facility and health officials say they continue to see high numbers of cases in the state’s long-term care facilities.
More than 9,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and at least 421 have died, according to the Department of Health.
State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said there are signs that the state has begun to “flatten the curve” but said people should continue to stay home and keep their distance from others.
“We are no where near being out of the woods here,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “This virus can easily spring back.”
Lofy said as of April 5 authorities had identified the virus in 126 of long-term care facilities. Washington’s first large coronavirus outbreak was at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, which has been linked to dozens of deaths.
Inmates at the Monroe Correctional Complex held a demonstration on Wednesday night after six inmates tested positive at the prison, according to the Washington State Department of Corrections. The latest two cases at the facility that can house up to 2,500 inmates were men aged 68 and 28.
Corrections officers used verbal orders, pepper spray and rubber pellets to get the demonstrators under control, but the inmates ignored those efforts, officials said. Both housing units were evacuated and the situation was under control soon afterward. No one was injured.
The six men who tested positive were transferred to an isolation unit, where the health care team provided monitoring and support. Corrections officials are conducting an internal investigation.