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15 more Nebraska prison inmates test positive for COVID-19

15 more Nebraska prison inmates test positive for COVID-19

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Another 15 state prison inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, the Nebraska Department of Corrections said Thursday.

The inmates are housed at the Nebraska State Penitentiary and the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center in Lincoln. Of 453 tests administered this week, 82 have returned positive so far, with a handful of tests still outstanding, officials said.

Prison officials have expanded the space used to isolate infected inmates, said Scott Frakes, director of the Corrections Department. “By doing that, we hope to return the higher-security housing units to normal operations in the next day or so, thereby ending the facility-wide quarantine.”

Testing was initiated at the penitentiary on Aug. 28 when an inmate in a minimum security housing unit became positive. Following additional cases, the entire facility was placed on quarantine.

Frakes said that because testing is an ongoing process, it is likely that additional COVID-19 cases will emerge.

“As in the community, this is a very fluid situation and we need to stay nimble to ever-changing circumstances,” he said.

kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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