Hutchinson prison reports staffer as 1st coronavirus case
July 10, 2020
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A staffer at a south-central Kansas prison has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, promoting it to place an entire housing unit there under quarantine.
The case announced Friday by the state Department of Corrections involved a male employee over 20 and made the Hutchinson Correctional Facility the seventh of 10 corrections institutions to have a reported case among staff or inmates.
Department spokeswoman Rebecca Witte said 76 inmates have been quarantined since Monday.
State prisons have had reported coronavirus cases in more than 900 inmates and nearly 120 staffers, most of them at the Lansing Correctional Facility in the Kansas City area. Lansing had the prison system's only reported COVID-19-related deaths, two among staff and four among inmates.
Kansas had more than 17,600 reported coronavirus cases and 282 reported COVID-19-related deaths as of Wednesday.
An economic slowdown tied to a coronavirus-inspired stay-at-home order and restrictions on businesses this spring has rippled through the state's higher education system because Kansas anticipates a decline in tax revenues.
Kansas State University announced Friday that it will impose unpaid furloughs for nearly 1,900 to save nearly $8.7 million in its current budget. The university plans to make $37 million in budget adjustments, either by cutting costs or tapping reserves.