ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas will test all inmates at the 19 state prisons for COVID-19, said Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) at Wednesday’s, August 5, daily briefing.
“The goal is to have 100% of inmates tested by the end of August,” said Hutchinson. “Ten National Guard personnel will assist … to take samples … [Arkansas Department of Corrections] Secretary Solomon Graves asked for this assistance.”
Thirty-two inmates have died from complications due to COVID-19, according to the Arkansas Department of Health Congregate Settings report for Wednesday, August 5th.
The most recent death was Wednesday, according to the Arkansas Department of Corrections Communications Director Cindy Murphy. “A Division of Correction inmate was pronounced deceased at CHI St. Vincent – Hot Springs. The Ouachita River Correctional Unit (ORU) inmate was undergoing treatment for COVID-related symptoms. The inmate was in his mid-60s.”
This is ORU’s 14th inmate death (five inmates have died since July 27), and 1,253 inmates are infected with the virus, according to the ADH. According to an ADC population report from March 2020, ORU has 1,782 inmates.
Eleven inmates have died at the Cummins Unit from COVID-related illnesses, and nearly 1,100 inmates are positive with the disease, according to the ADH. According to an ADC population report from March 2020, Cummins has 1,911 inmates.
East Arkansas Regional Unit (EARU) has 827 infected inmates and six deaths, according to the ADH. According to an ADC population report from March 2020, EARU has 1,531 inmates.
These three prisons, five days ago, had a total of 666 active COVID-19 cases, and as of Wednesday, the number is 3,142, based on ADH data.
Overall, there are 5,701 COVID-19 positive inmates and 4,762 have recovered. More than 850 staff have been infected and 439 recovered.
(Editor’s note: positive COVID-19 cases corrected at 7:38 p.m. Total at three prisons: 3,142. ORU: 1,253, Cummins Unit: 1,062, EARU: 827).