Officials: Tennessee prison has nearly 1,000 COVID cases

Published 12:33 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2020

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Nearly 1,000 inmates at a Tennessee prison have tested positive for COVID-19, corrections officials said Monday. 
Officials tested 1,410 inmates at South Central Correctional Facility late last week after several inmates and staff began showing symptoms, the Tennessee Department of Correction said in a news release. As of late Monday afternoon, 974 of the inmates had tested positive for the disease while another 189 results were pending, according to TDOC statistics. The prison in Wayne County is run by private prison company CoreCivic. 
All inmates who test positive and are asymptomatic will receive daily medical monitoring and health assessments, according to the news release. Those who become symptomatic will be treated in place or at local hospitals, depending on their medical needs. Staff will self-quarantine, the department said. 
CoreCivic spokesman Ryan Gustin said in an email that staff are currently being tested.
“We have worked closely together with TDOC and state health officials to respond to this unprecedented situation appropriately, thoroughly and with care for the well-being of those entrusted to us and our communities,” Gustin said.
Meanwhile, in Nashville, a jail inmate died on Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19. The 64-year-old woman had been in the hospital since Aug. 18, according to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. 
Tennessee recorded 1,818 new coronavirus cases on Monday and seven new deaths, bringing the total number of Tennessee deaths from the pandemic to 1,754.
While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older people and those with existing health problems.

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