Colorado prisons have seen a recent outbreak as COVID-19 cases swing upward statewide. Fremont Correctional Facility, one of more than a dozen prisons located in and around Cañon City, has more than 240 inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19, with only half a dozen listed as recovered. This is the largest outbreak in the Cañon City area. Fremont is a level III security prison, which can house more than 1,500 inmates at a time.
Fremont now represents the second largest outbreak in a Colorado prison after Sterling Correctional Facility had more than 500 cases this spring. Three people died in the outbreak at Sterling.
Sterling recently reported another outbreak due to three new cases — an outbreak is defined as two or more positive cases within 14 days. According to Annie Skinner, the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) public information officer, CDOC expects the Sterling outbreak conclude this week.
Skinner said that the first positive inmate case at Fremont was discovered on Oct. 6 after routine testing before the inmate was to be moved.
"CDOC has been regularly conducting surveillance testing for all staff in our Cañon City facilities over the last several months on at least a bi-weekly schedule," Skinner said. After the positive test, all inmates began to be tested. As of Wednesday, Oct. 14, 13 staff had also tested positive.