Mercer County Correction Center offers COVID-19 update

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Eight inmates and four staff members at the Mercer County Correction Center in Hopewell Township have tested positive for COVID-19, but no COVID-19 deaths have been reported at the jail, Mercer County officials announced on May 18.

Based on the test results, the Mercer County Correction Center has been deemed to be in “outbreak” status by the New Jersey Department of Health. This means it will be under the direction of the New Jersey Department of Health and Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie Carey. Hopewell Township contracts with Montgomery Township to provide health services.

All inmates are being tested for COVID-19 as of May 18, and officials said it is expected that many test results will come back as positive. This has been the case in institutions and congregate living quarters statewide and nationally, they said.

Contact tracing will be initiated, and precautionary screenings will be taken for all inmates who are being housed on the same unit as any inmate who tests positive for COVID-19, officials said.

The eight inmates who have already tested positive for COVID-19 are being quarantined in the Medical Social Distance Unit for observation and treatment, officials said. The four staff members who tested positive are on leave.

Visitor restrictions were put into place in March. Staff, contractors, inmates and individuals who are coming into the facility to serve a sentence or to wait for a trial are being screened for fever and respiratory symptoms, officials said.

Physical distancing has been emphasized to staff and inmates alike.

The Mercer County Correction Center has a daily population of about 300 inmates, although it has the capacity to hold as many as 850 inmates.