Tennessee Dept. of Corrections launches mass testing of inmates amid COVID-19


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Department of Corrections said they’ve launched a third round of testing for inmates at three different facilities.

The testing started on Sunday for an additional 3,100 inmates at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, the Northwest Correctional Complex and the Turney Center Industrial Complex.

TDOC officials said they wanted to do a third round of testing following Saturday, in which 424 inmates at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex were tested.

Of those tested, 150 inmates tested positive and have been isolated. Staff said that most who tested positive were asymptomatic. 262 tests were negative and 12 results are pending.

The positive inmate test results since April 4 are as follows:

  •   Bledsoe County Correctional Complex: 162
  •   Turney Center Industrial Complex: 5
  •   Northwest Correctional Complex: 2
  •   Trousdale Turner Correctional Center: 1

All inmates at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex are being tested for COVID-19.

The decision to expand testing at the Northwest and Turney Center prisons is based on the positive returns, extensive contact tracing and a sound methodology.

Commissioner Tony Parker

Cloth masks were given to all staff and inmates as well as county jails, sheriff’s departments, THP and health care workers.

Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC recommends that organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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