KGUN 9NewsCoronavirus


517 inmates in unit of Tucson state prison test positive for COVID-19

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Posted at 8:31 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 23:54:31-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Nearly half of the inmates in one unit of the state prison in Tucson have tested positive for COVID-19, the Arizona Department of Corrections announced Tuesday evening.

Of the 1,066 inmates in the Whetstone unit of the state prison on Wilmot in Tucson, 517 have tested positive for the coronavirus. The ADC says the inmates who tested positive are being housed in separate areas from the rest of the population and receiving medical care. Staff in the separate area have access to N95 masks, gowns, gloves and face shields, the ADC added.

The ADC also says all inmates in the Whetstone unit will now be receiving meals and medical services in their housing units.

Inmates were first offered cloth face coverings on July 2, ADC said.

The ADC has previously set a goal of testing its entire inmate population.

According to the most recent data on the Arizona Department of Corrections COVID-19 dashboard, 890 inmates at Arizona state prisons and 564 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. It's not clear whether that includes the 517 newly confirmed positive cases in Tucson.