Behind bars

JEFFERSON CITY — Nine employees and 189 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at a prison for women in western Missouri, the state Department of Corrections reported Friday.

The outbreak at the Chillicothe Correctional Center is the worst among all Missouri prisons,.

Farmington Correctional Center is second highest, with 64 active cases of COVID-19 involving inmates.

The presence of the coronavirus at Chillicothe came to light on July 1 when three cases were confirmed, triggering a cancellation of visiting sessions. 

Offenders who test positive are isolated until they test negative. Staff who test positive are sent home on leave and must test negative twice before returning to work.

All staff who have close contact with a positive are sent home for two weeks of quarantine.

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