Inmate transfers from county jails into the state prison system are temporarily suspended due to “a rise of Covid-19 cases” at the state’s intake center.

The first stop for inmates entering the state prison system is at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. And, in an average week, 65 inmates from county jails arrive at the facility. On Wednesday, state officials notified county sheriffs that inmate transfers were temporarily suspended.

An inmate who was in the general population at the state facility tested positive for Covid last week. Since then nearly 800 inmates and staff have been screened and 59 inmates and 6 staff members have tested positive.

A news release from the Iowa Department of Corrections indicates inmates who have the virus are in quarantine and the movements of the other inmates inside the facility are now very limited. The state website indicates there are approximately 950 offenders inside the Coralville intake center each day and about 500 people are on staff.