Virus outbreak at Alaska’s largest prison continues to grow

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Published: Dec. 5, 2020 at 6:53 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The biggest prison in Alaska is continuing to experience a coronavirus outbreak that has left almost half of its population infected.

As of Thursday, 581 inmates at Goose Creek Correctional Center had active cases of the virus, said Alaska Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sarah Gallagher.

That figure is 46% of the prison’s total population of 1,253 inmates, which includes both convicted prisoners and those awaiting trial.

Corrections officials said 193 people at the prison have recovered from the virus, which means over half the inmates have contracted COVID-19 since the outbreak was first identified on Nov. 2, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Two inmates at the prison have died.

An outbreak at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel has been identified as well. There, 46 people were infected with the virus as of Thursday, according to the state Department of Corrections. The jail hosts both male and female prisoners and has a capacity of 207 people.

Thirteen inmates were hospitalized statewide due to the coronavirus as of Thursday.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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