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FMC staff member tests positive for COVID-19

A staff member at the federal prison in Rochester tested positive for COVID-19.

FSA coronavirus microscope6
The COVID-19 virus photographed through a powerful microscope. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, "crown-like." (NIAID-RML)

A staff member at the Rochester Federal Medical Center has tested positive for COVID-19.

A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C., confirmed the case, but declined to answer other Post Bulletin questions, including the staff member's role at the prison, how recently the staff member had last worked, whether any inmates or other staff members were being quarantined as a result of the positive finding, or how inmates or their families are notified of a potential exposure.

The spokesman did answer the Post Bulletin's question about testing for inmates. They are tested when they show symptoms of COVID-19.

A total of 51 prison facilities and 21 residential re-entry centers are affected nationwide. FMC Rochester is the only federal prison in Minnesota where COVID-19 has been found, according to the Bureau of Prisons. There are 693 men incarcerated there.

Four inmates at a Bureau of Prisons-contracted residential re-entry center in Minneapolis have tested positive for the virus. That facility has a total of 121 beds, the vast majority of which are for men.

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The bureau has 141,306 federal inmates and 10,823 in community-based facilities. The bureau has approximately 36,000 staff. As of Sunday, there were 1,926 federal inmates and 350 staff members who have confirmed positive tests nationwide. Currently, 515 inmates and 148 staff have recovered. There have been 38 federal inmate deaths and zero staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease.

Emily Cutts is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. She joined the Post Bulletin in July 2018 after stints in Vermont and Western Massachusetts.
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