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Lockdown at St. Cloud prison, where more than half of inmates have COVID-19

More than 900 prison inmates in Minnesota have COVID-19.
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Minnesota Correctional Facility-St. Cloud is on a modified lockdown as more than half of its inmates have contracted COVID-19, along with dozens of staff.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections confirmed that as of Wednesday, there were 335 cases of COVID-19 among the prison population, which totals 623. A further 59 staff members have the virus.

The facility has been on a lockdown since Oct. 30. Making matters more complicated is that MCF-St. Cloud is the intake facility for the entire Minnesota Department of Corrections system. Intakes were briefly shifted to MCF-Lino Lakes before the lockdown, before resuming in St. Cloud albeit on a reduced basis.

The DOC did provide a more positive update on the COVID-19 outbreak at MCF-Stillwater, which at the start of the month totaled more than 700 inmates – around two-thirds of the total population.

As of Friday, the number of inmates positive with the virus has reduced to 106, out of almost 800 inmates infected with COVID across the entire DOC system.

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"Stillwater didn’t have its first positive case until late September, but once we turned the heat on it started to spread quickly," a DOC spokesperson said. "We have engaged the services of air flow and filtration experts to conduct an analysis of how activation of facility heating systems might influence viral spread."

Since the outbreak, the DOC said it has taken several steps at Stillwater, including doubling the outside airflow into its heating system.

Here's a list of COVID-19 positive inmates by facility.

Faribault – 77

Lino Lakes- 66

Moose Lake- 12

Oak Park Heights- 2

Red Wing- 0

Rush City- 177

Shakopee- 8

St. Cloud- 335

Stillwater- 109

Togo-0

Willow River - 3

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