Skip to main content

First COVID-19 cases confirmed in Minnesota's prison system

A staff member and an inmate have tested positive.
MCF Red Wing

The first two cases of the novel coronavirus in Minnesota's prison system has been confirmed.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections issued a statement confirming that MCF-Red Wing and MCF-Moose Lake are the affected facilities.

A staff member from MCF-Red Wing – a juvenile facility – tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, while one inmate at MCF-Moose Lake has the virus.

Both are experiencing mild symptoms and don't require hospitalizing, and the DOC is taking steps to ensure the virus doesn't spread to others in each facility, and says it is following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for quarantine and personal protective equipment.

Minnesota law enforcement and corrections officials have been taking steps to limit the exposure of COVID-19 in prisons and jails, including a system-wide ban on visitors until further notice, while some jails have released low-level, non-violent suspects on bail.

Any staff member or other official entering a facility now undergoes a symptom screening as well.

“We have been working directly with epidemiology staff from the Department of Health for several weeks to plan for the known likelihood of staff and inmate cases of COVID-19,” DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell said.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters 

"We are taking all reasonable steps to minimize the spread with the state’s correctional facilities, and we are implementing methods to protect those most at risk medically.

“We continue our efforts to balance public health concerns inside the prisons with the need to offer prosocial therapeutic, educational, recreational and phone visiting activities. As an agency, we continue our preventative measures as part of our effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 within the prisons.”

So far there have been 22 inmates tested in Minnesota prisons, of which 17 tested negative, 1 positive, and four have their tests pending.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.

ShutterflyGoogle

Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.

millcitymuseum_hr1

Mill City Museum in the running to be named best history museum in the U.S.

The museum offers scenic views of the Mississippi River.

HolmgrenMugRamseyCo

Man charged with attempted murder of White Bear Lake police officer

Daniel Holmgren Jr., 33, was being served an arrest warrant at the time of the incident.

image

Gallery: 1,000-acre Wisconsin resort listed for nearly $4.3M

The lush landscape features a creek and private lake.

Related

MCF Moose Lake

Three more cases of COVID-19 confirmed at Moose Lake prison

Two more inmates and a staff member have contracted the virus.

MCF Moose Lake

COVID-19 cases rise to 8 at Moose Lake prison

The cases continue to rise after three more positive tests.

Stillwater MCF

Inmate with COVID-19 dies amid major outbreak at Stillwater prison

Almost two-thirds of inmates at the prison have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic started.

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 9.26.23 AM

2nd inmate at Faribault prison dies after positive COVID-19 test

More than 200 inmates at the prison have tested positive.

prison, Rush City cell block

2 more Minnesota prison inmates die after getting COVID-19

Since the pandemic began, eight COVID-positive inmates in Minnesota prisons have died.

MCF Moose Lake

ACLU sues for early release of prisoners from coronavirus-hit Moose Lake

Coronavirus has already spread at MCF-Moose Lake Minnesota, and the ACLU fears it will get worse.