Prison guards and inmates at Airway Heights Corrections Center have begun receiving vaccinations amid widespread COVID-19 outbreaks in Washington state’s prisons.

So far, 1,410 prisoners at Airway Heights have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Corrections made the announcement Monday evening as part of new coronavirus infection case reporting guidelines that will be made public each day. Conditions inside the prison have come under criticism and scrutiny as the coronavirus swept through the inmate population.

In all, Washington state prison officials reported that 2,595 prisoners have COVID-19 and another 1,677 prisoners have recovered from the illness.

The department said 783 prison staff have been infected.

The state also is vaccinating staff and inmates at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell. There have been 353 prisoners who have tested positive for COVID-19 at Coyote Ridge.

Officials also reported that there are 834 prisoners infected at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen; 721 infected prisoners at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton; and 790 infected prisoners at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.


The vaccines going to the prisons will be dispensed based on a priority list.

Some of the inmates who have recovered are returning to work assignments.

More on the COVID-19 pandemic