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Iowa prison stops taking inmates after spike in virus cases

According to the Department of Corrections, nearly 60 of 800 tests conducted last week came back positive.

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) — An increase in coronavirus cases has prompted Iowa prison officials to stop admitting inmates from county jails to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. 

The Department of Corrections said Wednesday that 59 inmates have tested positive in the last week out of nearly 800 tests conducted at the center. When officials believe the virus is no longer spreading in the facility, they will end the suspension.

 Staff implemented enhanced quarantine and testing measures after an inmate tested positive for the coronavirus last week. Inmates typically are temporarily assigned to the center before being sent to another prison in Iowa’s system. 

The Coralville center usually admits about 65 inmates a week from jails.