BUTTE - Members of the Montana Army National Guard are extending their tour of duty at the Montana State Prison due to many staff members in quarantine from the coronavirus.
As of Thursday, the Montana Department of Corrections reports 136 staff members have tested positive for Covid-19 at the prison in Deer Lodge. Also, 323 inmates have tested positive for the virus.
In late October, Gov. Steve Bullock ordered members of the National Guard to help with duties at the prison because of staffing shortages.
The soldiers were initially supposed to work at the prison until Nov. 8. But because an increased number of staff members remain in quarantine, 36 members of the National Guard will extend its service at the prison until Nov. 19.
The soldiers, who are not armed, will continue providing assistance with mail distribution, laundry, inmate counting and feeding.