Clallam Bay prison outbreak grows to over 160 cases

A COVID-19 outbreak at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center continues to grow, according to health officials.

The outbreak at the prison on the Olympic Peninsula northwest of Seattle began in early August with five staff members, The Peninsula Daily News reported. The state Department of Corrections dashboard shows it had grown to 55 staff members and 107 inmates as of late September.

The dashboard also shows the people lodged at the facility as of last Saturday had a higher rate of full vaccination at over 50% than the staff at nearly 41%.

Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties, said there’s been an uptick in vaccination demand by prison staff this week, as the vaccine mandate compliance date approaches.

Rachel Ericson, deputy communications director for the DOC, said this week that no one in custody with COVID-19 at Clallam Bay has been hospitalized but three staff members have been.

"Clallam Bay Corrections Center, like all Washington State correctional and work release facilities, follows the WA State DOC COVID-19 Screening, Testing and Infection Control Guidelines protocols to safely house COVID-19-positive incarcerated individuals separately from healthy individuals," Ericson wrote.

Berry said she’s received reports that mask-wearing among staff members has been intermittent despite state regulations requiring it. Ericson didn’t return phone calls from the newspaper for further comment regarding prevention protocols.

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