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COVID-19 outbreak grows at prison in southwest Washington

A brick wall as a sign embedded in it. The pale green letters read Larch Corrections Center. There is a small map of Washington on it.
Rick Bowmer
The Associated Press file
COVID cases are rising at Larch Correction Center in Yacolt.

Cases in a COVID-19 outbreak at a minimum-security prison in southwest Washington have been climbing.

A Washington Department of Corrections bulletin Monday reported the number of active COVID-19 cases jumped to 41 among incarcerated individuals at Larch Corrections Center, a nearly 193% increase since Friday, The Columbian reported.

The prison near Yacolt was placed on facility-wide outbreak status on Feb. 7 after four inmates in the living unit tested positive.

Incarcerated individuals who test positive are being temporarily relocated to another unit to help stop the virus' spread, officials said.

Corrections officials also said six employees are included in the outbreak total.

Since the pandemic began, 322 incarcerated individuals and 65 staff members have tested positive, according to the DOC. Most of those cases came during an outbreak in late 2020, with more than 90% of the inmate population testing positive.

In December, the most recent data available online, Larch’s average daily population was 222, with a capacity of 240.