In a statement this evening, Monday 11 January, the Irish Prison Service said: “Two prisoners in Portlaoise Prison have tested positive for Covid-19. The prisoners were not recently committed to prison therefore they have contracted the virus within the prison. Families of the infected prisoners have been informed.
“Outbreak Control Teams (OCT) have now been established in Portlaoise to agree and oversee the appropriate actions to be taken to mitigate against further possible spread of the disease within those prisons.
“The Service is working closely with Public Health in the HSE with regard to the management of the current outbreaks including making arrangements for the mass testing of prisoners and staff in the prison.
“Arrangements are being made for the mass testing of prisoners and staff in Portlaoise Prison on Sunday and Monday next week with a further test to be carried out seven days later.
To help prevent the spread of infection a more restricted regime has been introduced in the prison which may impact on access to video visits and phone calls in the short term for prisoners in precautionary isolation however we are working to ensure that we can continue to facilitate family contact as far as possible.”