Police & Fire

Penobscot County Jail reports new COVID-19 outbreak, weeks after the end of its last one

By Matthew Stone, Bangor Daily News Staff

BANGOR — COVID-19 has returned to the Penobscot County Jail, a little more than two weeks after state health officials declared a previous virus outbreak at the Bangor facility over.

Four inmates have tested positive in the latest outbreak, Sheriff Troy Morton said Wednesday afternoon. The outbreak began after a female inmate tested positive through testing the jail conducts when transferring inmates. The four inmates who have tested positive were all in the same area of the jail, Morton said. They tested positive as part of a round of universal testing.

The Bangor jail dealt with an outbreak for about a month this winter, after a handful of correctional officers tested positive in late February. The outbreak ultimately grew to infect 14 inmates and 12 jail employees and affiliates.

The Penobscot County Jail is among three Maine county jails with active outbreaks of COVID-19, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The others are the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton and the Cumberland County Jail in Portland.

During Penobscot County Jail’s previous outbreaks, the jail stopped taking in new arrestees, forcing the jail to board more than two dozen inmates at other facilities. It began accepting new arrestees again in late March and transferring inmates held elsewhere back to the Bangor jail.

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