Covid outbreak in Victorian prison system spreads to 36 inmates and 15 staff – leading to crackdown on prison visits
- Dozens of Victorian inmates and staff fight Covid as outbreak leaks into prisons
- There are now 36 infected inmates and 15 employees in five state prisons
- All in-person visits to Victorian prisons suspended, zoom calls being held instead
Dozens of Victorian inmates and staff are battling COVID-19 as the state’s worsening outbreak leaks into prisons.
Corrections Victoria says 36 inmates and 15 staff members are among the more than 14,000 active cases in the state.
Of the infected inmates, 16 are at the Melbourne Assessment Prison, 11 at the Metropolitan Remand Centre, five at the Ravenhall Correctional Centre, three at the Dame Phyllis Frost Center and one at Port Phillip Prison.
Of the infected inmates, 16 are at the Melbourne Assessment Prison (pictured), 11 at the Metropolitan Remand Centre, five at the Ravenhall Correctional Centre, three at the Dame Phyllis Frost Center and one at the Port Phillip Prison
The five COVID-positive inmates at Ravenhall were part of the general prison population.
“One has been managed under quarantine arrangements since developing COVID-19 symptoms in the general prison population on September 25, 2021, and has now been moved to the prison’s isolation unit,” Corrections Victoria said on Tuesday.
“The other four inmates had positive results as part of extensive inmate and staff surveillance testing and are now in isolation.”
All new Victorian inmates are tested and must spend 14 days in protective quarantine regardless of their COVID-19 risk.
Movement of inmates in Dame Phyllis and Port Phillip prisons has been restricted while contact tracing is underway, and all personal visits to Victorian prisons have been suspended.
Zoom and phone calls between inmates and their family and friends are facilitated where possible.
Cases have also been reported among the staff of the Metropolitan Remand Center (five), Ravenhall Correctional Center (five), Port Phillip Prison (two), Dame Phyllis Frost Center (one), Maribyrnong Community Residential Facility (one), and Barwon Prison (one ).
By October 1, 73 percent of adults in public and private prisons had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 52 percent were fully vaccinated.
The first and second doses among prison staff were slightly higher, 81 percent and 62 percent, respectively.