A worker at the Maine State Prison in Warren has tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Monday.
The employee tested positive in antigen rapid test results on Sunday and a molecular test confirmed that result, according to the Maine Department of Corrections.
Staff at the prison, in coordination with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention have began contract tracing and have implemented a secure lockdown of the facility, officials said.
The prison will begin the process of universal testing of all staff and residents, which is expected to last several days.
State prisons and jails have been of special interest because their congregate living conditions are ripe for viral invasion. Twenty-eight prisoners went on hunger strike at the Auburn county jail on Oct. 13 in protest of a lack of coronavirus safety measures, and findings from Maine Department of Corrections staff showed the state’s 15 county jails were failing to enforce basic precautions in late September .
The corrections worker is the third associated with the department to get the virus since March — one at the Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston and the other at the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren.
Since the onset of the virus, five adult prisoners — all at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham — and a juvenile at Long Creek Youth Detention Center in South Portland have tested positive, officials said.
The last confirmed positive case associated with the department was on Sept. 8.