COVID-19 outbreak grows to nearly 800 inmates at Airway Heights Corrections Center

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — A COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow at the Airway Heights Corrections Center, where nearly 800 inmates have contracted the virus in a matter of weeks. 

A total of 792 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Saturday, according to the State Department of Corrections, as well as 59 staff members. 

Despite the significant rise in cases, the Department of Health says it’s not coordinating a COVID-19 response with the DOC. 

READ: WA Dept. of Health not advising prison system on COVID, despite outbreaks 

“The Department of Health is not providing any consultation or support to the Department of Corrections regarding isolation or quarantine as part of the Airway Heights outbreak. DOC is working its internal plans and procedures to properly handle outbreaks in various facilities,” the DOH said in a statement Friday. 

Family members of inmates have told 4 News Now about the poor living conditions at the facility in Airway Heights, saying inmates are being deprived of hot food and showers in an effort to curb the spread. 

READ: Airway Heights inmates deprived of showers, hot food in effort to curb COVID outbreak 

Outbreaks have also been reported at Geiger Corrections Center and the Spokane County Jail. 

As of Saturday, 79 inmates at Geiger have COVID-19. Ten inmates have tested positive at the downtown jail, but a county spokesperson says those inmates were moved to Geiger. One inmate remains at the Spokane County Jail who has tested positive.

You can track the number of inmates in Washington who test positive for COVID at this link.