Recent tests for the coronavirus at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins revealed 15 positive cases of COVID-19, two positive cases among the prison staff, and seven positive cases among the prison's contract health care staff, according to a news release from the Wyoming Department of Corrections on Monday afternoon.

The department is testing for COVID-19 testing on all inmates and staff at its institutions and offices, and in the past two weeks conducted 876 at the penitentiary and 311 at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton.

There were no positive COVID cases reported from the tests conducted at the honor farm.

Testing began Monday at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington and is expected to be completed Tuesday. Results will be reported when they become available.

After the Department of Corrections completes testing at all its facilities, it will conduct random testing on 20% of the staff and inmate population on a continuous basis and will adjust it as necessary.

All new inmates coming into the department's facilities are quarantined for 14 days upon arrival and are tested twice during that period.

The department is following the most current  guidelines from the Wyoming Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those guidelines include isolating positive inmates, and quarantining positive staff away from the workplace.

The department also is developing a plan to conduct facility wastewater sampling in an effort to minimize risk.

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