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64% of Inmate Population Positive for COVID-19 at Stevens Correctional Center

WELCH, W.Va. – In Governor Justice’s press briefing today, he announced that testing results from Stevens Correctional Center had returned, reporting 64% of the inmate population testing positive for COVID-19.

According to Department of Health and Human Resources data released Sunday, November 15th, 2020, the Correctional Center has 254 active cases out of a total population of 396, with 1 case reported as recovered.

“254 active inmate cases and 28 staff cases,” said Justice. “County Commissioner Cecil Patterson called me and said this thing is running like wildfire so we ran to the facility.”

Last week, Governor Justice announced an outbreak of COVID-19 was found at Stevens Correctional Center in Welch. By Friday, Justice announced that testing efforts had identified 40 active inmate cases and 22 active staff cases. As results came in, the inmate cases increased drastically to approximately 64% of the prison’s population.

Stevens remains on lockdown and is following DCR protocols and guidance according to Justice.

“You’ve got to see how this spreads when it gets into a population, it just goes everywhere,” said Justice. “It’s unbelievable.”

Justice said Friday that the West Virginia National Guard remains on standby to sanitize once the outbreak has been isolated and the scope of the infection is known.