MOOSE LAKE, Minn. — The number of positive COVID-19 cases at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Moose Lake grew from one inmate to three on Wednesday, April 1.

The Department of Corrections also confirmed one staff member has also tested positive for the coronavirus.

The two inmates who received their positive results had already been isolated after having close contact with the first inmate who tested positive. Three more tests are pending.

“We have a team that’s focused on jails and corrections and so (we) have been in contact with leadership at the Department of Corrections long before they identified cases and so we are working with them closely on the situation at Moose Lake,” Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious diseases and epidemiology at the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday. “We have been working on making sure the appropriate individuals are isolated, others are quarantined and so we feel that we have a good plan with them.”

The close quarters in prisons and jails during the pandemic have prompted concerns from inmate advocacy groups.