16 Cork prisoners in quarantine

16 Cork prisoners in quarantine
Cells and landing area in the new Cork Prison Picture: Eddie O'Hare

SIXTEEN inmates of Cork Prison were in quarantine earlier this week while one was cocooning.

Those in quarantine included inmates put there on doctor’s instructions after showing symptoms similar to those of Covid-19.

Others are from the prison population after being committed there by the courts.

Each new prisoner is seen by a nurse on arrival, before being brought into the building. They are checked, and have their temperature tested.

They are then in quarantine for 14 days, to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19.

There have been no outbreaks of the virus among the inmate population in the prison system.

Six prison officers in Cork Prison have contracted the virus since March.

Efforts have been made throughout the prison system to free up space to allow for the isolation of inmates in case of an outbreak.

Latest figures show there were 274 inmates in the prison while five were on temporary release.

There were 30 spaces in the prison, which has a bed capacity for 296 inmates.

Under legislation, temporary release can be for just a few hours or for a more extended period.

Concerns about overcrowding in Cork were heard at the Prison Officers’ Association conference in Sligo last May.

Throughout the past year, prior to Covid-19, figures in the prison spiked and the building was regularly at capacity, or overcrowded.

According to the Irish Prison Service, up-to-date public health advice is followed by all staff.

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