A Covid-19 outbreak among staff members in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise has been confirmed.
In a statement, the Irish Prison Service says that ‘a number’ of staff members have tested positive for the virus.
However, Midlands Prison had remained Covid-19 free until these unspecified amount of cases.
In a statement, the Irish Prison Service also confirmed that, so far, no prisoner has tested positive.
They said: “The Irish Prison Service can confirm, that a number of staff in the Midlands Prison have tested positive for Covid-19 and contact tracing is continuing in this regard.
“The Irish Prison Service can also confirm there are no positive cases amongst the prisoner population.
“The Service is working closely with HSE Public Health where both Contact Tracing and Covid swabbing is on going.
“The positive staff cases relate to a small cluster in the prison and arrangements have now been made for all staff to be tested.
“The Midlands Prison Outbreak Control Team (OCT) continues to engage with Prison Management to oversee appropriate actions to mitigate against further possible spread of the disease within the prison.
“The Irish Prison Service is working closely with HSE Public Health with regard to the management of the current outbreak including arrangements for the mass testing of all staff in the Midland Prison.
“To help prevent the further spread of infection a more restricted regime has been introduced which may impact on access to video visits and phone calls in the short term for prisoners in precautionary isolation.
“However, we are working to ensure that we can continue to facilitate family contact as far as possible.”