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Cloverhill Prison confirms mass testing for Covid-19 as prisoner tests positive

The Irish Prison Service said the HSE has agreed to undertake mass testing of all its staff and prisoners.

CLOVERHILL PRISON IN Dublin has said it is responding to a suspected Covid-19 outbreak. 

One positive case among its prisoner population has been confirmed while mass testing and contact tracing have commenced as a “significant number” of prisoners await test results. 

The Irish Prison Service said it is working closely with the HSE to manage the outbreak and it has agreed to undertake the mass testing of all staff and prisoners in Cloverhill Prison.

The body also confirmed that restrictions will get underway which may affect visits to the prison in the short-term.

In a statement, the Irish Prison Service said it is managing an active outbreak: “To date, a significant number of symptomatic prisoners have undergone testing and are awaiting test results.

“The Irish Prison Service can confirm 1 (one) prisoner in the B Division has tested positive for Covid-19.”

An outbreak control team has been mobilised to oversee actions to mitigate against possible spread of the disease within the prison.

The Prison Service statement added it is introducing a more restricted regime for visits to help prevent the spread of infection. 

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This “may impact on access to video visits and physical visits in the short term for prisoners” however, it said it is working to facilitate family contact as far as possible.

How prisons deal with Covid-19 has been the subject of attention over the past year, as measures were introduced to prevent the spread of the virus, including a reduction in prisoner numbers and cell-sharing.

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