DOC Working With ADH Following a COVID-19 Diagnosis at the Cummins Unit

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Department of Corrections (DOC) is working with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), following the COVID-19 diagnosis of one inmate at the Cummins Unit in Grady. This diagnosis is the first among the Department’s inmate and resident populations. As of Friday, April 10, 13 employees throughout the various Divisions of the Department had tested positive for the virus and were under quarantine.

The inmate was scheduled for COVID-19 testing at Cummins yesterday morning, but he was transferred to an area hospital that same morning and diagnosed there. He remains hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, access to the barracks where the inmate was housed has been restricted, and those inmates have been tested as well as exposed staff. 

The DOC implemented COVID-19 symptom screenings in mid-March at all prisons, community correction centers, and administrative locations. Those screenings will continue, in conjunction with previously implemented enhanced sanitation practices. The Department also is distributing masks manufactured by Arkansas Correctional Industries to all inmates/residents and facility staff. Inmates and staff at the Cummins Unit were issued masks prior to this diagnosis.

The DOC will continue to follow ADH guidance during the response to this virus.

Due to patient privacy rules, no additional details will be provided about the confirmed positive inmate. The DOC will release its regular COVID status update on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

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