130 Inmates Test Positive At Cairns Correctional Facility

Staff shortage concern

Article heading image for 130 Inmates Test Positive At Cairns Correctional Facility

Marc McCormack: Cairns Post

A COVID outbreak at the Lotus Glen Correctional Centre in Cairns has raised operational concerns, after 136 prisoners and 21 officers returned a positive COVID reading. 

On Wednesday, the officers were deemed unfit to work leaving a strain on the remaining workers.

The difficulty was reported to the Cairns Magistrates Court.

The Lotus Glen Correctional Facility is a men's prison which holds 950 inmates. In addition to the inmates testing positive, 350 more occupants were forced into isolation due to registering as close contacts.

Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) said it's the worst outbreak in a correctional facility within the state.

"Different parts of the centre will be in different levels of lockdown – from in-cell isolation for close contacts through to relatively normal structured day routine for unaffected prisoners in other parts of the centre," the QCS said in a statement.

"These arrangements are regularly reviewed with Queensland Health, and as soon as they indicate it is safe to do so, we will ease restrictions.

"QCS has strong planning and robust processes in place to manage COVID-19 incursions from the community, including a four-stage operational plan which allows agile and effective responses to emerging situations.

"Every prisoner in Queensland has been offered vaccination, and anecdotally the uptake amongst prisoners is higher than the general public."

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27 January 2022

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