24 May 2022

Big Covid-19 outbreak at prison in Laois

BREAKING Death in custody at prison in Portlaoise confirmed

Midlands Prison Portlaoise

The Midlands Prison in Portlaoise is the centre of a big Covid-19 outbreak according to figures from the Irish Prison Service (IPS).

In a statement published on January 21, the Service confirmed that 100 prisoners from A, B and E Division in Midlands Prison have tested positive for Covid-19 and an Outbreak Control Team has been established.

The IPS said the outbreak on the B Division is stood down and a second round of mass testing is scheduled for A & E Divisions. A restricted regime will be in place until testing is complete.

There were 827 prisoners in custody at the Midlands Prison on January 20 making it the country's most populated jail.

The IPS said it is managing four active outbreaks of Covid-19 in Cloverhill, Midlands and Limerick, Mountjoy and Cork Prisons. It  confirmed that a number of staff and prisoners have tested positive for Covid-19.

The total number of prisoners that have tested positive for Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic is 548. The IPS has said that it has faced an unprecedented challenge in continuing to keep prisoners safe from infection during the Omicron wave. The Prison Service says it has has managed 14 Covid-19 Outbreaks within a prison setting since November 2021, of which, nine have been successfully stood down.

Physical family visits are to resume from January 24 except where Covid-19 restrictions are in place.

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