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Spokane Health Officials Helping Local Prisons, Jails With Covid Outbreaks

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane public health officials say they’re providing help to state and county agencies that are battling Covid outbreaks in Spokane area corrections facilities.

The Spokane Regional Health District on Tuesday reported 238 cases at the Airway Heights Corrections Facility. That was about a third of the record 692 new coronavirus cases reported.

Interim Health Officer Frank Velazquez says his office is doing what it can to help contain that.

“We have provided resources for testing, both for inmates as well as staff. We have provided them with guidance on frequency of testing because there are multiple scenarios. We have also provided guidance in terms of quarantine and isolation. I do know that the buildings have been separated between quarantine and isolation," he said.

The county has inmates at two facilities with Covid. As of late Monday afternoon, 52 inmates at Geiger and 10 at the downtown jail had tested positive, in addition to at least six corrections employees.

County officials say they’ve instituted more frequent testing of inmates and staff and changed their prevention protocols to stop the spread of the virus.