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SCI Huntingdon Has Second Most COVID-19 Cases Among Pa. State Prisons

SCI Huntingdon is now the main contributor to COVID-19 cases in Huntingdon County.
Pa. Dept. of Corrections
SCI Huntingdon is now the main contributor to COVID-19 cases in Huntingdon County.

Thirty-three people -- 16 staff members and 17 inmates -- at the state prison in Huntingdon have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. SCI Huntingdon, which added 10 confirmed cases today, is now the main contributor to the county’s COVID-19 cases. 

All inmates are considered residents of the county, which the Department of Health reported has 29 confirmed cases as of Wednesday. The number of cases among staff is self-reported and they are counted based on where they live, which may or may not be in Huntingdon County. 

The department said COVID-19 entered the prison from the community. Visitation has been limited and other safety protocols like screening and contact-tracing -- including using prison surveillance footage -- have been put in place. 

“All employees and vendors who must enter the facility are screened for COVID-like symptoms and must wear masks at all times when in the facility,” said Maria Finn, the department’s press secretary, in an email. “All inmates must wear facemasks when out of cell, all inmate movement has been severely curtailed, all symptomatic inmate patients are isolated, and their contacts, including those in nearby housing, are separately quarantined.”

Across all state prisons, 90 staff and 47 inmates had tested positive for coronavirus as of Wednesday. SCI Huntingdon now has the second most cases, after SCI Phoenix in Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia.

Min Xian reported at WPSU from 2016-2022.
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