The number of new COVID-19 infections in Northampton County Prison have jumped

Written by on September 10, 2021

The number of new COVID-19 infections in Northampton County Prison have jumped 

By Tyler Pratt

September 10, 2021

In this Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 photo, barbed wire lines the top of a wall at the deactivated House of Correction in Philadelphia. Philadelphia, which has used previous John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grants to reduce it’s jail population by about 36 percent, will receive $4 million to continue its work. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

COVID-19 cases are on the rise at the Northampton County Prison (NCP) where just under half of the jail’s nearly 600 inmates are vaccinated.

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On Aug. 31, one NCP inmate was positive for COVID-19. Now there are at least 14 cases in the population and five among staff. 

The incarcerated were supposed to be among the first people to get access to COVID vaccines since their congregate environment made them vulnerable to the virus. But as the vaccine rollout progressed earlier this year, nearly half of county jails across Pennsylvania were unable to get a supply for months. 

Since May, Northampton County officials have said they have run 14 vaccination clinics and given shots to hundreds of inmates. But the population changes daily, which contributes to the low vaccination rate.

Officials say the prison’s health care provider runs daily temperature checks, the movement of inmates is restricted and in-person visits from outside the jail are not allowed.

A spokesperson for Northampton County said the jail is divided up into sections, and when one inmate tests positive the whole group goes into quarantine.

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