Follow-up testing on two inmates at Montana Women’s Prison who were presumed positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, has revealed negative results.
Because of the conflicting test results, the Montana Department of Corrections is working with RiverStone Health and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to conduct additional investigation into those cases.
“We are continuing to take an abundance of caution related to this situation at the prison,” said DOC Director Reginald D. Michael Friday. “Protecting the health and safety of our staff, inmates and the public is the department’s top priority, and we are following the plan we developed for this circumstance.”
The presumed positive results were discovered as part of sentinel testing efforts being conducted at all DOC facilities. Sentinel testing is for individuals who do not demonstrate active symptoms associated with COVID-19, and is intended to help guide response efforts related to the threat of the virus.
Once the presumed positive results were returned, the DOC performed proactive testing of all 194 inmates at the facility and 69 staff members. Notifications related to that testing were being made Friday.
To date, as part of its sentinel testing efforts, the department has tested 616 inmates among all of its facilities and 102 staff members.
The department tracks all results of its COVID-19 testing as they are received on its website — https://cor.mt.gov/COVID-19.