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COVID-19 Outbreak: New Cases Detected at Newport Facility

Waterbury, VT – The Vermont Department of Corrections detected 11 new cases of COVID-19 at Northern State Correctional Facility (NSCF) in Newport during three rounds of recent outbreak testing. The testing, which occurred on December 3, 7, and 10, identified three cases among staff and eight cases in the incarcerated population.

Currently at NSCF, there are three active incarcerated cases and three active staff cases. Statewide, five positive incarcerated cases and 16 positive staff cases currently exist across six correctional facilities, one field office, and Central Office.

A total of 48 incarcerated individuals and 17 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in the NSCF outbreak, which began on November 10. Since then, testing and medical evaluations have cleared 45 individuals and 14 staff of the virus. The facility remains on full lockdown. Further testing dates are being scheduled in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH).

On Tuesday, intake quarantine testing detected a new positive individual at Northwest State Correctional Facility (NWSCF) in St. Albans. Vermont’s unified system – in which detainees and sentenced individuals are housed in the same facilities – necessitates protocol that new entries from the community be cleared of COVID-19 prior to entering general population.

“While the existence of any COVID-19 case is always troubling, the fact that Vermont DOC is detecting cases on intake demonstrates the success of our ‘test to suppress’ model,” said Commissioner Nicholas Deml. “This effort shows how we’ve operationalized our commitment to protect our staff and those in our care, and it complements the State of Vermont’s broader strategy to test exhaustively so we understand best how this virus is impacting our communities and can work effectively to combat the pandemic.”

Families and friends of incarcerated individuals are encouraged to reach out to the Vermont DOC Office of Constituency Services with questions: Click here for the direct link to the online Friends and Family portal.

Updates and data on the COVID-19 response in Vermont’s correctional facilities can be found at Prior press updates can be found at

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