Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Employee tests positive for COVID-19 at Monroe prison

Two units in the Washington State Reformatory have been quarantined. Visitations are on hold.

MONROE — Two units of inmates at Monroe Correctional Complex are being quarantined after a worker tested positive for COVID-19, the state Department of Corrections said Friday.

The employee who works in the Washington State Reformatory was last on duty March 8 and is isolated at home. Workers considered to be in close contact with the employee are asked to self-quarantine at home until a suggested 14-day quarantine period ends.

Inmates on the A and B units, where the employee worked, are facing additional restrictions on their movements. The affected units are being deep-cleaned, and extra cleaning supplies were given to those incarcerated.

“We are taking precautions to protect those individuals who may have been in close contact with this employee as well as all of the incarcerated individuals who were exposed to them during their daily work,” Department of Corrections Secretary Steve Sinclair said in a news release.

According to the agency, close contact includes being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes or in direct contact with secretions, such as sharing utensils.

Visitation at all correctional facilities in Washington was halted Friday, including extended family visits. Only employees, contract staff and legal professionals are allowed in the Monroe Correctional Complex, Washington Corrections Center and Washington Corrections Center for Women.

The agency is adding screening protocols, such as taking temperatures and answering questionnaires.

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