Criminal courts disrupted by prison Covid-19 outbreaks

Criminal courts disrupted by prison Covid-19 outbreaks

The criminal courts are expected to experience further disruption this week as a result of Covid-19 outbreaks in the prison system.

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) said on Friday that it is dealing with active outbreaks in Cloverhill and Mountjoy, while Midlands Prison has been brought under control.

The outbreak control team at Midlands has been stood down following two rounds of testing for staff and prisoners, with just one of its seven divisions kept on a restricted regime. A total of 47 prisoners there have been confirmed as positive.

The first round of mass testing at Cloverhill, where an outbreak among remand prisoners has affected criminal trials, has been completed and the prison service is awaiting the results. The second round of mass testing began yesterday and is continuing today.

The progression unit in Mountjoy is in lockdown and awaiting outstanding test results from the first round of Covid-19 testing. The main prison is operating a normal regime and prisoners have access to physical visits and essential services.

As of Friday, there were 16 confirmed cases in Cloverhill Prison and eight confirmed cases in the progression unit at Mountjoy Prison.

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