PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – As the coronavirus crisis continues, the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry says it will be giving all of its employees face coverings over the next few days to help protect them from COVID-19.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its stance on face masks for people outside the medical profession, advising everyone, including essential employees, to wear a non-medical face covering when they are out and about.
According to ADCRR, inmates at the prison complexes in Perryville, Douglas and Florence are making the face coverings. They will be making enough for each employee to have two. The inmates are part of the Arizona Corrections Industries (ACI) garment program. ACI has been working for more than 35 years to “provide structured programming to create opportunities for offenders to develop marketable skills and strong work habits.”
So far, the inmates have made more than 8,000 face coverings already, and expect to produce more in the coming days and weeks. The press release from ADCRR does not indicate whether the inmates will be allowed to wear masks.
ADCRR Director David Shinn said there are no reported cases of COVID-19 among ADCRR’s more than 42,000 inmates. At this point, 44 people have tested negative. Results of tests on eight inmates are pending.
According to ADCRR, employees of each prison complex undergo required health checks before entering the facilities. The agency is also encouraging employees and inmates alike to practice safe social distancing, be vigilant about their hygiene, including frequent hand washing, and to monitor their own health.