Two inmates in the Montana Women's Prison in Billings who were presumed positive for COVID-19 tested have tested negative, but a third inmate has tested positive, the state lab confirmed Monday.
The third inmate has been in quarantine at the prison, thus minimizing the risk of spread to other inmates, according to the Montana Department of Corrections. Once that inmate is tested and cleared, she will be allowed to join the general population at the facility.
The presumed positive results discovered last week were part of sentinel testing efforts being conducted at all DOC facilities. Sentinel testing is for individuals who do not demonstrate active symptoms associated with COVID-19, and is intended to help guide response efforts related to the threat of the virus.
Once the presumed positive results were discovered, the DOC performed proactive testing of all 194 inmates at the facility, ultimately identifying the single positive case.
To date, as part of its sentinel testing efforts, the department has tested 616 inmates among all of its facilities and 102 staff members.
The department tracks all results of its COVID-19 testing as they are received on its website — https://cor.mt.gov/COVID-19 [cor.mt.gov].