More than 30 prisoners infected as COVID-19 spreads to five Victorian jails

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There are now COVID-19 infections at five prisons in Victoria, with 36 prisoners testing positive for the virus.

Corrections Victoria said in an update on Tuesday that 16 prisoners had tested positive at the Melbourne Assessment Prison, 11 at the Metropolitan Remand Centre, five at Ravenhall Correctional Centre, three at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre and one at Port Phillip Prison.

The Ravenhall Correctional Centre in Melbourne’s west.Credit:Joe Armao

“Of these cases, 31 prisoners have been managed under quarantine arrangements since their arrival into custody and are being held in isolation units in accordance with established operational processes,” the update said.

The five prisoners infected at Ravenhall Correctional Centre were in the general prison population.

“One has been managed under quarantine arrangements since developing COVID-19 symptoms, while in the general prison population on September 25, and has now been moved to the prison’s isolation unit.

“The other four prisoners returned positive results as part of extensive surveillance testing of prisoners and staff, and are now in isolation.”

There are also 15 active COVID-19 cases among staff members – five at Metropolitan Remand Centre, five at Ravenhall, two at Port Phillip Prison, and one each at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, Maribyrnong Community Residential Facility and Barwon Prison.

Corrections Victoria has been assisting the Health Department with contact tracing, and all visits to Victorian prisons have been suspended.

As of October 1, 73 per cent of the adult prisoners had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 52 per cent were fully vaccinated.

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