Nearly a quarter of St. Cloud prisoners have COVID-19

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud has the largest outbreak of coronavirus cases in the state’s prison system in months.

According to corrections officials, 242 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s nearly a quarter of the inmate population at the St. Cloud prison.

The state Department of Corrections is working with the Department of Health to determine why cases have spiked since protocols haven’t changed.

Officials say a number of factors may be in play; including growing rates of community spread, the need for booster shots as vaccines wane and a switch to the prison’s heating system instead of circulating fresh air.