Prison officer tests positive for Covid

Monday 28 Feb 2022

The WA Prison Officers’ Union has confirmed a prison officer has tested positive for COVID-19 while on duty.

The prison officer, who works at Acacia Prison, began feeling ill while on shift yesterday and isolated while awaiting the results of a Rapid Antigen Test.

Following the positive test result yesterday afternoon, contract tracing is underway.

All staff members and prisoners who came into contact with the prison officer are also isolating and being tested for COVID-19.

WA Prison Officers’ Union Secretary Andy Smith confirmed he had discussed the matter with Corrective Services Acting Deputy Commissioner and COVID taskforce commander Gary Budge.

“The officer sought a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test as soon as symptoms presented themselves,” he said.

“We are awaiting the results of a second test, and contract tracing is well underway.

“The officer has followed all government and department policies to ensure the risk of infection is minimal to both prison officers and prisoners.

“We are confident that the officer has done everything they could do to ensure the safety of everyone on site.

“This case is a good example of not only the extensive COVID-19 protocols that we follow, but the different challenges that prison officers face every day on the job.

“We tip our hats to the bravery of prison officers who face a variety of risks every day in difficult or volatile conditions, ranging from safety issues and staffing shortages to heat stress and a lack of PPE.

“All West Australians should be very proud of the prison officers who work long hours, and the hard work and dedication they bring to the job.”