A Peterborough prison has been hit by a coronavirus outbreak, officials have confirmed.

HMP Peterborough is located in the Millfield & Bourges Boulevard area of Peterborough on the Government’s coronavirus map, which recorded a huge total of 127 Covid-19 cases in the most recently available data – the seven days to February 16.

This is a massive increase from the 33 cases recorded the week before, making the area easily the worst affected neighbourhood in Cambridgeshire.

This equates to a surge of 284.4 per cent and puts the infection rate for the area at a huge 1,263.7 cases per 100,000 population.

This surge in cases is partially responsible for making Peterborough the third worst-affected area in England.

But it has now been revealed that this huge surge in cases was down to a “localised outbreak of Covid-19 cases” at HMP Peterborough.

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A spokesperson for HMP Peterborough said: “A number of staff and prisoners on six of the 12 male wings within HMP Peterborough recently tested positive for COVID-19, significantly driven by a mass testing exercise.

“The current situation is well controlled and under constant review. There are no positive cases on our female wings. We continue to liaise with Public Health England and the local authority to limit transmission of the infection and keep staff and prisoners safe.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesperson added: “Any outbreaks in Peterborough are of concern to the city council, however, we are confident that the outbreak is being well managed with strong input from Public Health England. Our local public health team is staying in close contact with the prison and will provide any support they need.

“Across the city, Covid-19 infection rates have declined since the peak in January, but numbers are still high. We ask city residents to continue to follow social distancing guidelines and to take up the vaccine when they are offered it.

“We are having a second Peterborough Summit today which will discuss how we fight for the future of our city as lockdown is lifted.

“It will discuss the PM briefing yesterday and timely opportunity for local leaders to discuss the implications of this for our city. This will be broadcast on the council’s social media channels following the event.”

HMP Peterborough, a privately-run prison operated by Sodexo Justice Services, houses both male and female inmates.

The Category B prison has the capacity to house 480 males and 360 females in total.

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