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Cambria County COVID-19 Spike

There has been a recent rise of COVID-19 cases across the country. Locally, several of our counties have seen increases including Cambria County.

After eight months of going without a single COVID case at the Cambria County Prison, a staff member tested positive two weeks ago.

Since then, there have been 72 positive COVID-19 cases including inmates and staff. Warden, Christian Smith says they are continuing to clean and follow protocols in place.

“We’ve done several things. We have a very strict cleaning protocol in place which is done routinely,” said Smith. “Inmates are required to wear masks at all times. Our staff are required to wear N-95 mask at all times and protective eyeglasses or face shield. They are also required to wear a medical safety gown,” he added.

Another number on the rise: Cambria County’s death toll. Cambria County coroner Jeff Lees confirmed the 8th Coronavirus related death in the county as a 77-year-old man from Richland township who died Tuesday.

A second place where we have seen a rise in cases: Forest Hills School District. As a result of four positive Coronavirus cases, school was closed Thursday and will be moved to remote learning until further notice to stop the spread.

Cambria County prison is also doing their part to stop the virus, by transferring negative inmates to other facilities.

“What we ended up doing at the end of last week was the department of corrections agreed to take some of our negative inmates, so we transferred 96 of our negative inmates up to the department of corrections,” said Smith.

These changes at the prison, is what Warden Smith believes could have started last week’s riot within the facility.

“My assumptions are that the lockdown that they were already undergoing, if they would have moved to the cell style block, the lockdown would have been stricter and that’s what we are looking at the reasoning at this point as to why they began acting the way that they acted,” said Smith.

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