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National Guard Helps with COVID-19 Testing at Lincoln Hills, State Prisons

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Wisconsin Department of Corrections
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National Guard troops were at the Lincoln Hills youth prison near Irma Thursday, helping test staff for COVID-19.

It’s part of an effort by the Department of Corrections to track and handle any cases of COVID-19 in the state prison system.

To date, 907 inmates and 238 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in prisons statewide.

Thursday’s testing at Lincoln Hills is part of an ongoing effort to identify and respond to the virus.

“In this routine testing at Lincoln Hills, we are testing staff members this week. We’ve had some positive cases among staff, I think five since we’ve started testing. Two of them have been in the past few weeks. Of those five total, four are now listed as recovered as of yesterday afternoon,” said Department of Corrections communications director John Beard.

None of the inmates at Lincoln Hills has tested positive to this point.

Beard says the facility would be well positioned to handle positive cases, if they come along.

“At Lincoln Hills, it would not be an issue if we did have a number of cases there, because we’re talking about 75 youth at the school right now at a facility that’s big enough to hold about 500. It’s a large facility,” Beard said. “They do have an entire cottage they have dedicated to quarantine, which they use for quarantining any newly admitted youth who are just coming to the school.”

Green Bay Correctional Institution has had the largest number of COVID-19 cases so far.

Two hundred seventy-three inmates and 37 staff have tested positive.

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