NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – More than 1,200 inmates and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, according to the Department of Correction.
TDOC confirmed 1,246 COVID-19 positive cases out of 2,450 total tests at the correctional center in Trousdale County. These positive tests come after a targeted testing event at the facility that started on April 28.
Following Friday's announcement, Gov. Bill Lee said there will be mass testing starting next week for all Tennessee Department of Correction staff and the inmates.
“Knowing the extent of the virus’s spread within our correctional facilities is critical as incarcerated individuals remain one of the most vulnerable populations during this pandemic,” Lee said in a statement on Friday. “Thanks to our increased capacity, we’ll test all inmates and staff statewide in order to take appropriate actions to safeguard the health of these vulnerable individuals.”
Unified Command Group Director Stuart McWhorter said they have been "in close coordination with TDOC" after the targeted testing of inmates and staff in early April.
“Given the increases in positive cases at the Bledsoe County and Trousdale Turner correctional facilities, despite the vast majority being asymptomatic, we are going to take the next steps in partnership with TDOC, Tennessee Department of Health, and Tennessee National Guard to support a broader testing strategy to promote the health and safety of staff and inmates. We will also coordinate plans with our local jails to assist them in safeguarding the health of their populations in the coming days,” McWhorter said in a statement on Friday.
The analysis of those inmates and staff tested confirmed that 98 percent are asymptomatic.
Unified Command Group will work with the Tennessee Department of Health on the testing at the other 10 state-run facilities. Testing was done at Bledsoe County and Northwest Correctional Complexes on April 10, and at the Turney Center Industrial Complex on April 19.
Health officials said there were 583 positive staff and inmate cases out of the 2,322 tested. There were 40 positive cases out of 902 staff and inmates tested at Northwest. There were also 40 positive cases out of 313 staff and inmates tested at Turney Center.
|Location||Number Tested||Number Positive||Number Negative||Pending|
|Bledsoe County Correctional Complex||2,322||583||1,703||36|
|Morgan County Correctional Complex||0||0||0||0|
|Northeast Correctional Complex||1||0||1||0|
|Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility||5||0||5||0|
|Riverbend Maximum Security Institution||2||1||1||0|
|Tennessee Prison for Woman||5||0||4||1|
|Turney Center Industrial Complex||275||38||237||0|
|Turney Center Industrial Complex-Annex||38||2||36||1|
|Mart Luttrell Transition Center||2||1||1||0|
|Northwest Correctional Complex||902||40||843||19|
|West Tennessee State Penitentiary||1||0||1||0|
|Women's Therapeutic Residential Center||2||0||2||0|
|Contract & Private Managed prisons|
|Hardeman County Correctional Facility||3||0||2||1|
|South Central Correctional Facility||2||0||1||1|
|Trousdale Turner Correctional Center||2,272||1,224||1,034||14|
|Whiteville Correctional Facility||2||0||2||0|
“The Department of Correction is taking a proactive approach to ensure all staff and the entire inmate population is tested for COVID-19,” TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker said in a statement on Friday. “Our sixth round of mass testing will begin early next week with the remaining 10 facilities conducting testing. With the support and leadership of Governor Lee, Tennessee is leading the nation in our approach to widespread mass testing.”
After positive COVID-19 tests, corrections officials said they follow with contact tracing for potential exposure.
The Department of Correction also delivered more than 93,000 masks for staff, inmates, county jails, and health care workers.