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69 Nevada prisoners housed in Arizona test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 8:47 PM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-19 03:11:24-04

The Nevada Department of Corrections reports that after testing all 99 Nevada offenders who are currently housed at a privately-run facility in Arizona, 69 tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

These offenders are housed at Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona. The facility is run by CoreCivic, a for-profit correctional corporation that houses federal, state, county and municipal inmates and detainees.

“CoreCivic is working with NDOC medical and programming staff to monitor, assess, and treat Nevada offenders in their custody,” said Charles Daniels, NDOC Director. “Their plans now align with our security and medical-related protocols and procedures.”

NDOC provided test kits to Saguaro staff who tested Nevada offenders on July 8, with the results coming back on July 14 and 15.

“At the time of testing, none of the offenders exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19 and they currently remain asymptomatic,” said Dr. Michael Minev, NDOC’s Medical Director. “No offenders have required hospitalization since testing positive for COVID-19. They are housed together in the same unit, with offenders who tested positive in separate cells than those who tested negative. The Nevada offenders do not have any contact with offenders from other states. They will remain under medical observation twice-daily.”

The offenders will be tested by Saguaro staff for COVID-19 every 21 days until all test negative for the virus. The next test is scheduled for July 28 and will consist of kits provided by NDOC.

An inmate at the Nevada Southern Detention Center, which is also run by CoreCivic, has filed a lawsuit claiming the prison is not following procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at that facility.

CoreCivic Statement on COVID-19 Prevention

NDOC recently partnered with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory on a comprehensive plan that tested offenders at all of its facilities in Nevada. Approximately 12,368 offenders, which represents 99.9% of NDOC’s total population – were tested for COVID-19, with only 18 – or .145% testing positive for the virus, one of the lowest rates in the nation.

The offenders at Saguaro represent the final major group of Nevada offenders to be tested as part of this initiative.

NDOC COVID-19 updates can be found at www.doc.nv.gov/About/Press_Release/covid19_updates.