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Oakwood prison officers 'develop coronavirus symptoms'

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Coronavirus | Published: | Last Updated:

Two prison officers at Oakwood Prison near Wolverhampton are believed to have been stood down after displaying coronavirus symptoms.

Oakwood Prison

The officers have been told to self-isolate at home after becoming unwell, the Express & Star has been told.

G4S, which runs Britain's largest prison, did not confirm or deny whether the officers were self-isolating.

Two prisoners were confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19 but the number of cases is believed to have risen. G4S is now longer confirming cases, in line with Government policy.

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Unions have raised concerns that officers are at risk by being around prisoners during the crisis. All inmates who test positive are placed into isolation.

John Whitwam, managing director, forG4S custodial and detention services, said: “The health and safety of our staff and the people in our care is our top priority and we have existing, well-developed policies and procedures in place to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases.

“We are in regular discussion with Public Health England and following all national guidance. Any prisoners who have symptoms are self-isolating and in regular consultation with our on-site health professionals, and all remain able to contact their families and loved ones during this time."

Measures have been introduced in prisons to try and stop Covid-19 from spreading but union bosses say officers will also be exposed to risk by the nature of their jobs.

The Express & Star has been contacted by several prison officers from different jails claiming social distancing measures are either not being implemented or aren’t working, and that there is a lack of hand sanitiser for them to use.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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