UPDATE: Two inmates housed at Bledsoe County Correctional Complex have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Tennessee Department of Correction East Tennessee Spokesman Robert Reburn. He added the offenders will be held in isolation in a medical infirmary until they are determined to be non-infectious, per CDC guidelines.
The Tennessee Department of Health confirmed on Monday that ten Department of Corrections employees and contractors at BCCX tested positive for COVID-19 after mass testing was undertaken on Friday, April 10.
TDH Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercy said most of these employees were asymptomatic at the time of testing. The mass testing effort was undertaken by TDH, TDOC, and the Department of Military at BCCX and at Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville.
The agency tested a total of 1,145 employees and 19 tested positive between the two facilities, TDOC said in a statement. This includes 13 TDOC employees and 6 contractors.
ORIGINAL STORY: All personnel at Bledsoe County Correctional Complex will be offered testing for COVID-19 after employees and contractors tested positive at the state prison in Bledsoe County.
“Following the positive COVID-19 test results of three TDOC staff members and three contract employees at two facilities, the TDOC and the Tennessee Department of Health began examining a mass testing approach out of an abundance of caution,” the agency said in a statement.
The agency adds they will offer testing to all employees at both BCCX and Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville beginning Friday, April 10.
The breakdown of positive staff between BCCX and the Tiptonville facility has not yet been released by TDOC.
Three inmates were isolated earlier this week after possible contact with a contractor who tested positive.
For more, see thebledsonian-banner.com and the April 16 issue.