I wanted to update residents on the outbreak of COVID-19 at HMP Stocken, which I know is of great concern to our community.
The most important update is that there are currently no known links between HMP Stocken’s outbreak and any outbreaks within our community in Rutland. This is thanks to the exceptional work of Prison Officers and all the staff at HMP Stocken to keep our community safe. However, we must not be complacent, and we must all work as hard as staff are to protect our community by adhering to the national lockdown.
Over the next week there will be continued testing of staff at least three times a week, mass testing of prisoners, testing of prisoners on arrival, the separation of prisoners who test positive or have symptoms (separate to those who test positive), a restricted regime, and vaccination for those over 70 and clinically extremely vulnerable continues. I continue to advocate for Prison Officers and Staff to be a priority occupation for vaccination when and if the vaccination programme moves to a vaccination by occupation model, this is something I have done for many months, and will continue to push for.
As there will be mass testing of prisoners it is likely that we may see a further increase in Rutland’s rates, although current testing results suggest the prison is managing to get the outbreak under control. As I’ve said before, we’re a small county and as such any increase in cases has a stark impact on our rate per 100,000.
I remain in constant discussion with the Prisons’ Minister and HMP Stocken, and will continue to support our phenomenal prison staff who have my full confidence, and our community as best I can.
I hope this is helpful and reassuring.