6 inmates tested for COVID-19

Officials say they are continuing to take proactive measures to protect staff members and inmates against any potential spread.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- The Arizona Department of Corrections says six inmates have now been tested for coronavirus. The results of those tests are still pending.

While the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) currently has no known confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, officials say they are continuing to take proactive measures to protect staff members and inmates against any potential spread.

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All ADCRR staff and inmates continue to be evaluated daily for any flu or allergy-like symptoms at prison complex facilities. Any inmates who show flu-like symptoms are being closely monitored and cared for appropriately in a separate area to reduce the risk of transmission.

ADCRR has implemented a number of other measures to defend against the spread of COVID-19 virus in the complexes. Some of these include suspending all visitations, stopping routine internal movement of inmates across all Arizona prisons and requiring all employees entering Arizona prison complexes to undergo an infectious disease symptoms evaluation.

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ADCRR is sending out work crews only on a limited and as-needed basis, and will continue to evaluate active inmate work crews, including temperature checks, as they return to the complex each day. The numbers and frequency of inmate work crews are being significantly reduced.

Following guidelines consistent with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), ADCRR continues to communicate with staff and inmates about how they can reduce the risk of contracting the virus, including regular hand washing, sanitizing common surfaces, covering coughs and sneezes and encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick. Jails and prisons are believed to be vulnerable spots for the spread of the coronavirus because inmates with compromised health live in very close quarters.

In recent days, some elected sheriffs around Arizona have been calling for the release of certain offenders from jail, and have been urging police agencies to issue citations rather than arrest people.

The latest ADCRR COVID-19 Management Strategy updates can be found online.


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