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  • Sofia Rivera, reporter

Coronavirus Strain Outbreak Discovered at Winfield Prison

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is investigating an outbreak of the coronavirus that is spreading quickly within the Winfield Correctional Facility.

As of Friday, there were 69 prisoners and eight staff members at WCF who have contracted the coronavirus according to the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC).

Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the KDHE, states that “they hadn’t had any COVID-19 cases for weeks,” and out of nowhere cases started to break out and numbers started to rise.

Trying to track down the origin of the outbreak, Norman says they discovered it came into the correctional facility from the community through the food service workers.

Norman goes on to state how surprisingly fast the virus is spreading, as well as to inform the public that they are going to test every one of the positive individuals with genomic sequencing.

The genome sequencing will figure out if it is a variant of the coronavirus, a spokesperson for the KDHE says.

“If an outbreak acts differently than what we’ve seen, then, we’ll do the genomic sequencing, as requested,” said Norman. “It’s another great example as to why correctional facilities or congregant settings need to be immunized because it was brought into the correctional facility and then taken back out into the community. The jail is not an island.”

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