Nearly every prison in Tennessee has at least one confirmed case of the coronavirus, according to new results from statewide mass testing that occurred last week.
Overall, about 2,500 inmates have tested positive since the Tennessee Department of Correction reported its first case in April. Three have died.
The Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, which assessed all of its prisoners and staff in an earlier round of mass testing late last month, still faces the largest outbreak. About 1,300 of the 2,400 men housed at the privately run CoreCivic prison have tested positive.
Nearly 600 inmates at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex tested positive for the virus last month, though TDOC says all but a handful have since recovered.
Two men at Trousdale Turner who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. An inmate at the Bledsoe County facility died late last week.
After mass testing at the Bledsoe County and Trousdale Turner prisons revealed massive outbreaks, Gov. Bill Lee announced that every inmate and correctional employee across the state would be tested for the coronavirus. With help from the Tennessee National Guard, TDOC and CoreCivic swabbed upwards of 20,000 prisoners and employees last week.
The latest round of testing uncovered an outbreak of 311 cases at the Northwest Correctional Complex and 148 cases at the Hardeman County Correctional Facility, which CoreCivic also manages.
Smaller hotspots have emerged at the Mark Luttrell Transition Center, which is reporting 52 cases, the Lois M. Derry Special Needs Facility, with 13 cases, and the Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center, with 10 cases. Other correctional facilities have reported between one and six cases of the virus.
Only two prisons have not reported a single case of the coronavirus. A TDOC spreadsheet, which tracks COVID-19 data within the prison system, shows South Central Correctional Facility and Whiteville Correctional Facility have both only tested two individuals so far, and neither test came back positive.
Both prisons are managed by CoreCivic. A spokesperson for the company says it’s still waiting on test results and will publish updated numbers once the data is available.