Three Mt Eden prison inmates test positive for Covid-19

Source: 1 NEWS

Three inmates at Auckland's Mt Eden prison have been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to Corrections.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 28:  General views of Mt Eden Prison on July 28, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. The correctional facility, which is managed by Serco, has been in the spotlight following reports of prisoner abuse.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The men were taken into the custody of Corrections at Mt Eden Prison this month, Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales told 1News in a statement.

"Two of the men returned positive results for Covid-19 prior to coming into custody, and the third was a known associate of a positive case," Beales said.

All three men were immediately placed into a dedicated quarantine area, where they have been cared for by fully vaccinated staff wearing full PPE.

"No Corrections staff or people in prison are considered close contacts due to the way that the three men have been managed," he said.

"Two of the men remain in the quarantine area of the site, while one is currently in hospital. Corrections officers are with the man in hospital to ensure the safety of the prisoner, hospital staff and the public."

The Ministry of Health confirmed to 1News the Mt Eden prison cases are not new and tested positive last month.

Beales said the safety of "the public, our staff, visitors to our sites and the people we are managing in prisons and the community" is Corrections' top priority.

"As we have seen in prisons internationally, the impact of Covid-19 can be devastating," Beales said.

"We are well prepared for this situation, having successfully managed other cases of Covid-19 with no transmission between prisoners or staff."