ORU COVID-19 inmate related death; state total is 39

Coronavirus

Total prison population 16,552 & ORU pop. avg. 1,687 as of 6/30/20, per ADC

In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 10, 2009, an Arkansas Department of Correction officer patrols a cell block at the agency’s Cummins Unit near Varner, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The Ouachita River Unit (ORU) has an additional inmate death as of Friday, August 28, according to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

This is the 39th inmate death at the ADC since the start of the pandemic in mid-March.

ORU has the most COVID-19 related deaths of all prisons in the state, according to data provided by the ADC and Arkansas Department of Health. The first inmate to die at ORU was on July 13. He was in his early 70s and died at Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton.

The inmate who died Friday was in his late 60s and expired at CHI St. Vincent – Hot Springs, according to the ADC.

Earlier this week, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that the Cummins Unit in Lincoln County and ORU in Hot Spring County were free of any positive COVID-19 cases.

The Marshall Project, with an Associated Press partnership, reported that by August 25, more than 108,000 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 — a 6% increase from the previous week.

Outbreaks hit an all-time high in early August. The biggest increases in active cases were from prisoners in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, California, and Hawaii, according to The Marshall Project.

In Arkansas, there have been 5,194 cumulative COVID-19 cases and 4,675 inmates have recovered, according to The Marshall Project.

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