Waupun Correctional Institution

(AP) A doctor at the Waupun Correctional Institute has tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed case of the virus inside a Wisconsin prison.

Waupun Correctional Institution Warden Brian Foster sent an email Wednesday night informing employees that a worker had contracted the virus. The email was first obtained by WisPolitics.com. The Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the worker affected was a doctor who had recently traveled out of the country and that 18 inmates were quarantined and 11 prison medical workers were sent home.

“Be assured we as an institution and a department are taking this situation very seriously,” Foster said in the email. “As everyone knows we are making many changes within the institution and we have implemented a significant cleaning process throughout the institution.”

The Department of Corrections on Friday suspended all in-person visits, except from attorneys and other professionals, but advocates for inmates have urged for more to be done to protect those incarcerated at more than 30 prisons around the state.

The maximum security prison in Waupun has more than 1,200 prisoners and is about 40% above capacity.