By Associated Press - Sunday, December 13, 2020

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Almost one-quarter of the people in Wyoming’s correctional system have tested positive for the coronavirus, the state’s new corrections director said.

So far, no one in the system has died of the COVID-19 illness, Corrections Director Dan Shannon told the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee on Friday.

Twenty percent of corrections institution staff have also tested positive and 33% have had to isolate because they tested positive or had other known exposure, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported.

Shannon provided a summary of his department’s steps taken in response to the pandemic: halting visitations, implementing medical screenings for staff, undergoing constant sanitation and enforcing mask use for staff and inmates.

Shannon became the department’s director in October.

“If there is a bright outcome on the horizon, it’s our department’s performance, actually,” Shannon said. “It has been exceptional compared to our surrounding states, such as Montana and Utah.”

Wyoming is among six states with no reported COVID-19 prison-system deaths. Nationwide at least 1,657 people in prisons have died from COVID-19, according to the Marshall Project.

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