Hiland Mountain Correctional Center (DOC photo)
An Alaska prison is back in lockdown due to a COVID-19 outbreak among incarcerated people there, and the Department of Corrections is reporting recent cases in two other prisons.
Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, a women’s prison in Eagle River had 14 active COVID cases as of Thursday. That prompted the prison to close down visitation, stop programming, and to serve meals in inmates’ cells at the prison, which houses approximately 400.
Anchorage Correctional Complex, which holds many unsentenced people, reported 23 active COVID cases as of yesterday Thursday and Wildwood Correctional Center in Kenai has one positive case.
The Department of Corrections opened most prisons to visitors at the end of April after a year-long closure due to COVID.
Over 2,000 incarcerated people in Alaska have tested positive for COVID during the pandemic, according to Department of Corrections statistics. The department says it is continuing to offer COVID-19 vaccines to staff and incarcerated people.
A spokesperson wrote in an email that staff and incarcerated people have been masking throughout the pandemic following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control for congregate settings.
This story has been updated with information from the Department of Corrections about masking.