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25 May 2022

Prisoners and staff test positive in Covid-19 jail outbreak

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At break at a sister jail of the Midlands Prison Portlaoise

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) has confirmed at Covid-19 outbreak at one of Portlaoise's sister jails in Dublin.

The IPS says prisoners and staff at Mountjoy Prison have tested positive for Covid-19 in a jail where there were 699 inmates on Friday, May 7 last.

"The Irish Prison Service can confirm there are (19) positive cases amongst the prisoner population to date. The Service is working closely with Public Health and the CHO testing team in the HSE and contact tracing is ongoing.

"The positive staff cases are currently confined to specific areas within the prison. Following engagement with Public health, HSE the testing of all staff and prisoners for Mountjoy and Dochas Prisons is ongoing," said the statement.

In a message to families, the IPS said the Mountjoy Prison Outbreak Control Team (OCT) continues to oversee the appropriate actions to be taken to mitigate against the further possible spread of the disease within the prisons.

The service said it is working closely with Public Health, HSE with regard to the management of the current outbreak including making arrangements for the mass testing of staff and prisoners in the Mountjoy and Dochas Prisons.

To help prevent the spread of infection, the IPS has introduced a strict regime that may impact on access to video visits and phone calls in the short terms for prisoners in precautionary isolation however we are working to ensure that we can continue to facilitate family contact as far as possible.

Further information for families and friends is available here.

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