Nine women escape prison after an inmate tests positive for coronavirus

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Authorities say nine inmates left a South Dakota women’s prison after another inmate tested positive for the coronavirus.

The state Department of Corrections says the women left the Community Work Center in Pierre on Monday night through an exterior door.

The women fled several hours after the state secretary of health, Kim Malsam-Rysdon, confirmed that a female inmate tested positive for COVID-19. One of the escapees was later caught.

Governor Kristi Noem says the woman who tested positive for the virus was in the same unit as the women who escaped but they don’t yet know if they were in close proximity to that woman. They are still investigating.

Malsam-Rysdon says an investigation is also underway into how the virus spread to the prison.