Prison’s Christmas Eve visits canceled due to flu outbreak

December 23, 2019 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska prison officials have canceled Christmas Eve visits to the Nebraska State Penitentiary in an effort to combat a prison system flu outbreak.

Nearly four dozen flu cases have been confirmed and a higher number are suspected at five prison facilities, the Department of Correctional Services said in a new release Sunday. The penitentiary in Lincoln has the highest number of confirmed and suspected cases, said prisons director Scott Frakes.

“Obviously, the cancellation of visits (will) be an inconvenience,” Frakes said. “But, we recognize the need to protect members of the public as well.”

The department is taking several steps to help stop the outbreak, including providing face masks for staffers and inmates and encouraging inmates to get flu shots.