By Rick Hiduk
(Exclusive to EndlessMtnLifestyles.com readers)
A male prisoner at the Bradford County Correctional Facility in Burlington has tested positive for coronavirus, though he has not been outside the facility recently.
According to warden Don Stewart (above), the man was tested after exhibiting symptoms and found to be positive. “He has been here for a while,” Stewart stated. “We are doing contact tracing and have not found the source yet.”
The information was disclosed during the monthly prison board meeting, held virtually after the regular commissioners meeting on Dec. 10. The inmate remains in isolation at the prison while 20 other inmates with whom he had contact are also quarantined.
Meanwhile, two corrections officers who had been in contact with COVID-positive individuals outside the facility are self-quarantining at home. Both have tested negative twice, the warden related, and are expected to return to their duties soon.
Bradford County has been fairly successful at keep coronavirus out of the prison. According to Stewart, spot-testing has been conducted in different areas of the facility among inmates and staff. “We have so far tested about 10 percent of the population with negative results for all,” he explained via email after the meeting. “We plan to continue to spot test and monitor.”
Last month, it was reported that two jail employees had tested positive after returning from vacations but had returned to work after quarantining.
Otherwise, prison population remains steady at 110 males and 26 females. With 35 full-time officers and six part-time on the staff, there are still two vacancies for full-time officers. Officer Z. Hutchinson recently resigned for a more suitable position in New York state.
Four inmates recently received new charges; two men for fighting, one for breaking a window in his cell, and another for flooding his cell.
During the commissioners meeting, an annual agreement with Sullivan County to take on inmates as needed there was approved. Sullivan County has an arrangement with Columbia County to house most individuals sentenced in Sullivan County court, but the Bradford County Correctional Facility has long been the back-up when situations arise when an inmate has to go to jail quickly.
In other COVID-related news, the commissioners approved a one year contract with Access Dx, effective Nov. 17, for COVID testing at Bradford County Manor in Burlington. “We are hoping to get a quicker turnaround with their services than what we’ve had,” said commissioner Daryl Miller (below).
The next meeting of the Bradford County Commissioners will be held at 10 am on Thursday, Dec. 17, at which time 2021 budget will be adopted.