Prison staff test positive

This photo is from COVID-19 testing of staff at Pelican Bay State Prison last week. Some results are in and show positive cases in both Del Norte and Curry County residents.

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Results from staff testing conducted last week at Pelican Bay State Prison are beginning to arrive and positive test results have been received, the Del Norte County Public Health officer said today.

According Dr. Warren Rehwaldt, some of positive results are residents of Curry County and will be recorded in their jurisdiction’s data.

“Staff at PBSP were tested over a three-day period early last week following a directive from the CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation),” Rehwaldt said in a press release. “Prison officials are working closely with Del Norte County Public Health to facilitate case investigation and contact tracing.”

Individuals who have tested positive and their direct contacts are being advised to quarantine at home. No one has been hospitalized and most individuals are asymptomatic.

“Additional measures are being conducted in order to ensure that all positive cases are identified related to this prison cluster,” Rehwaldt added. “While surveillance testing of inmates has been ongoing, mass testing of all inmates is currently underway.”

Rehwaldt said testing of all prison staff will be conducted again early next week.

“It is important that Del Norte County citizens continue to be vigilant in doing what they can to prevent the spread of this virus. Proper hand hygiene, masking and social distancing are all important in ensuring that we slow the spread so that our limited local resources are not overwhelmed with the consequences of a large outbreak,” he said.

For the latest local COVID data, information on testing, safe practices, and business resources please visit the COVID Information Hub at covid19.dnco.org.

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