All inmates in state prisons to be tested for COVID-19

Cooper to announce possible move into next phase of reopening

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The more than 31,000 inmates currently in North Carolina’s state prisons will be tested for COVID-19, Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday.

According to Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee, the process will take about 60 days to complete and will cost $3.3 million.

On Thursday, testing was under way at the Albermarle Correctional Institution in Stanly County.

Ishee said that of the 717 offenders have tested positive for COVID-19, 635 have met the CDC and NCDHHS requirements to be released from medical isolation.

Increase in testing

The number of daily tests in North Carolina has more than doubled over the last month, according to Cooper.

“In the past week, we’ve averaged about 16,800 tests per day, a significant increase from where we were a month ago when we averaged around 7,500 tests per day,” Cooper said Thursday. “Over the weekend, I personally asked Vice President Pence for federal assistance in setting up even more testing locations in our state. That’s going to be especially important as health directors identify hotspots for virus spread, which we have across our state.”

LIVE: Gov. Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to give an update on COVID-19 at 2 p.m.

Posted by WECT News on Thursday, June 18, 2020

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