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PRESS RELEASE: Incarcerated Patient at Snohomish County Medical Center Tests Positive for COVID-19

Released March 28, 2020

Contact Susan Biller, (425) 754-4939

Department of Corrections

TUMWATER – On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, an incarcerated patient was transported to a Snohomish County medical center from the Monroe Correctional Complex for medically necessary health care that could not be provided at the correctional facility. His initial presentation and the reason for his transfer were not related to any COVID-19 symptoms. The individual has not returned to the correctional facility since his transfer to the Snohomish County medical center on March 3, 2020.

While at the Snohomish County medical center, he was tested for COVID-19 and the test came back negative on March 15, 2020. Later, during his continued stay in the medical center, he developed different symptoms and was tested on Wednesday, March 25 for COVID-19. The Department was notified late on Friday, March 27, 2020 that the individual was positive for COVID-19. The man is currently in stable condition and remains in the Snohomish County medical center.

As part of Washington Department of Corrections’ health services protocol, the Department routinely transports individuals to outside medical centers for care they cannot receive inside a correctional facility.

Upon notification of the positive test result, the Department utilized contact tracing and notified correctional staff who were potentially exposed to the incarcerated patient at the medical center. Correctional staff conduct hospital watch shifts with incarcerated patients during their stays at community medical centers. Notified staff have been put on quarantine status at home while departmental medical professionals conduct secondary reviews of potential close contacts as defined by public health standards.

Based on contact tracing, there is not thought to be a connection between the patient and the staff member from Monroe Correctional Complex, who was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 12, 2020.