All Tennessee inmates and correction staff will be tested for the coronavirus as part of a new widespread initiative to mitigate the spread of the virus amid multiple massive prison outbreaks in the state, Gov. Bill Lee announced Friday.
The governor’s office said more than half of the inmates and staff tested at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville tested positive for the virus.
Of the 2,725 total tests given at the facility this week, at least 1,349 came back positive, according to CoreCivic, the national private corporation that runs Trousdale Turner. Just two of the inmates who tested positive exhibited symptoms, CoreCivic said in a statement, and both are being treated at a nearby hospital.
“The rate of infection at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center is consistent with or below what is being reported by other correctional systems nationally,” CoreCivic’s public affairs office said in a statement Friday, noting that more than 70% of federal inmates have tested positive for the virus, according to recently released data.
Based on state virus data compiled by The Tennessean, the outbreak at Trousdale has led to the largest single-day spike in positive cases — more than twice the size of any other — since the virus came to Tennessee in early March.