More than half the inmates at a federal prison in Mississippi are currently infected with Covid-19, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
The prison dealing with the outbreak, FCI Yazoo City, is a medium-security facility located 50 miles north of Jackson, Mississippi. This particular prison is part of a larger complex that also houses high and low-security inmates.
According to the latest BOP data from inside FCI Yazoo City, there are:
- 1,416 total inmates
- 719 inmates who have tested positive for Covid-19
- Nine staff members infected with Covid-19
- 146 inmates who have recovered from the virus
“Covid-19 transmission rates among staff and inmates in the BOP’s correctional institutions generally mirror those found in local communities,” said Scott Taylor, a spokesperson with BOP.
The facility is using both rapid testing and PCR testing, Taylor told CNN.
Some context: The outbreak in Mississippi is currently the largest in the federal prison system according to BOP.
“The majority of inmates who tested positive for Covid-19 are asymptomatic (positive with no symptoms) and do not require the level of care offered in a hospital setting,” Taylor added.
FCI Yazoo City is operating at level 3, the highest grouping in the BOP Covid-19 modified operations plan. A tiered system, the plan is designed to assist in mitigating the risk and spread of Covid-19.
The BOP is currently offering inmates all three Covid-19 vaccines and booster doses as authorized for use in the US.
The executive order signed by President Biden in September stipulates that all federal prison employees be vaccinated, with limited exceptions.