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More than 500 inmates at Tucson prison have contracted COVID-19

(AP Photo, file)

PHOENIX – Nearly half of the inmates at a Tucson correctional facility have contracted COVID-19 the state’s correction department announced Tuesday.

The Arizona Department of Correction Rehabilitation and Reentry said that 517 of the 1,066 inmates at the Arizona State Prison Complex Tucson Whetstone Unit have tested positive for coronavirus.

According to the release, the inmates who tested positive are being housed together in separate areas while receiving medical care.

Staff in those areas are fully equipped with N-95 masks, gowns, gloves and face shields.

Once the inmates are cleared, they’ll be allowed to return to general population.

ADCRR previously implemented measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including having staff wear cloth face coverings and heightening cleaning protocols.

Now, the department said that inmates at Whetstone will be given all meals and medications in their housing units.

According to ADCRR’s COVID-19 dashboard, the system has tested 7,121 inmates.

On Wednesday, Arizona health officials reported 1,698 new coronavirus cases and 87 additional deaths, pushing the state’s totals to 182,203 COVID-19 infections and 3,932 fatalities.

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