TDOC Takes Covid-19 Actions for Inmate Population

Monday, April 20, 2020 | 09:25am

NASHVILLE – The Department of Correction has launched a third round of mass testing of inmates at three facilities as part of its strategic, proactive targeted plan based on aggressive contact tracing.  Testing began on Sunday, April 19 for an additional 3,100 inmates at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, the Northwest Correctional Complex and the Turney Center Industrial Complex.  This third round of testing follows Saturday’s response, in which 425 inmates at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex were tested.  Of those, 150 inmates tested positive and have been isolated from the rest of the population at the facility. The vast majority of those who tested positive were asymptomatic.  262 tests were negative and 13 results are pending.  The positive inmate test results since April 4 are as follows:

  Bledsoe County Correctional Complex-------------------162

  Turney Center Industrial Complex-----------------------------5

  Northwest Correctional Complex------------------------------2

  Trousdale Turner Correctional Center------------------------1

All inmates at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex are being tested based on an aggressive response to the number of positive cases and out of an abundance of caution.  “The decision to expand testing at the Northwest and Turney Center prisons is based on the positive returns, extensive contact tracing and a sound methodology,” Commissioner Tony Parker said.  “The inmates who are being tested at these two facilities either had direct exposure to a confirmed positive case, or were screened positive and symptomatic, or those with potential exposure due to the living structure of a correctional environment.  A similar methodology has been implemented at Trousdale Turner resulting in the targeted testing of a select number of inmates by the contract vendor.  Cloth masks have been provided to all staff and inmates as well as county jails, sheriff’s departments, THP and health care workers.