National Guard helps operate Indiana prison amid COVID-19

National Guard units are helping operate a northern Indiana prison that's faced with staffing shortages after several prison workers were stricken with COVID-19.

Posted: Sep 1, 2020 2:43 PM

BUNKER HILL, Ind. (AP) — National Guard units are helping operate a northern Indiana prison that's faced with staffing shortages after several prison workers were stricken with COVID-19.

Soldiers from the Indiana Army National Guard began working at the Miami Correctional Facility during the second week of August, said prison spokesman James Frye. The Guard members are working in control pods inside the prison and do not have contact with any inmates, he said.

The prison has had five staff members test positive for COVID-19, with three having recovered, according to data provided by the state.

Frye said it's unknown how long National Guard units will remain stationed at the prison, located in Bunker Hill about 60 miles (96 kilometers) southwest of Fort Wayne. He said the Indiana Department of Correction was not releasing to the number of deployed units.

The state agency said units from both Indiana's Army and Air national guards have been deployed to state prisons since May because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

Guard members are also presently stationed at central Indiana’s Pendleton prison and northwestern Indiana's Westville prison.

The state agency said in a news release that its workforce, like those of many other Indiana employers, has been impacted by staffers contracting COVID-19.

“While other businesses may be able to operate with a reduction in their workforce, the unique duties performed by correctional staff must continue with proper staffing levels," according to the release.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
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