Exactly 1,349 inmates and staff at the Hartsville-based Trousdale Turner Correctional Center tested positive for COVID-19 this week, according to press releases from both Gov. Bill Lee and CoreCivic, which operates the facility.
Out of 2,444 inmates tested, exactly 1,299 tested positive for COVID-19, while 50 staff members, out of 281 tested, also had the virus, according to CoreCivic.
Staff for The Tennessee Department of Correction did not return The Tennessee Star’s repeated requests for comment Saturday.
No one at CoreCivic was available to speak Saturday, but staff said this on their website:
“All of the inmates and staff were asymptomatic at the time of testing. This is consistent with other correctional systems, which are reporting that 96 percent of inmates who tested positive are asymptomatic. Across all inmates and staff, only two inmates at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center have exhibited symptoms related to COVID-19, and they both are receiving medical attention at a nearby hospital,” according to CoreCivic.
“The facility is currently conducting contact tracing for all staff and inmates. Prior to this round of employee and contractor testing, there were 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases among our staff. All of these employees are self-isolating at home and are in regular communication with their healthcare providers.”
CoreCivic staff also said the rate of infection at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center is consistent with or below what other correctional systems nationally have reported.
Members of Tennessee’s Unified Command Group, meanwhile, announced this week that all Tennessee Department of Correction inmates will test for COVID-19 beginning next week, according to the governor’s website.
The statewide mass testing initiative follows additional, targeted facility testing that TDOC staff conducted at the Bledsoe County and Northwest Correctional Complexes on April 10, and at the Turney Center Industrial Complex on April 19, Lee’s website said.
CoreCivic officials said they will launch a 24-hour COVID-19 information hotline for family members of incarcerated individuals. The hotline will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People who wish to call the hotline may do so at (615) 263-3200.
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