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An outbreak of coronavirus has been confirmed at HMP Stocken in Rutland

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An outbreak of coronavirus has been reported at HMP Stocken.

The category C men's prison, which has more than 950 inmates, has confirmed cases on four out of its seven wings.

The news will be disappointing for governor Neil Thomas who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to the prison and probation service, particularly during the pandemic.

Stocken Prison
Stocken Prison

Under Neil’s watch at the prison in Stretton, not a single inmate had tested positive for coronavirus during 2020, despite up to a third of the staff testing positive at any one time, including Neil himself.

Confirming the outbreak on Twitter, a spokesman said: "As a team have worked tirelessly to keep our residents infection free and for 11 months we have succeeded.

"The new variant has created significant challenges and despite our best efforts, we have positive cases on four of our seven wings.

Neil Thomas, governor at Stocken Prison
Neil Thomas, governor at Stocken Prison

"Our priority now is to contain the virus on infected wings, protect our shielders and vaccinate and to prevent an outbreak in the rest of the prison.

"We are wishing all those affected a full and speedy recovery.

"We appreciate this is a worrying time for families. We have a plan and will continue to keep everyone updated on our social media feed."

The prison has been contacted to find out how many cases have been confirmed and what measures are in place to protect staff and inmates.

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