The Investigators: Arkansas governor asks CDC to take over testing at federal prison

Arkansas governor asks CDC to take over testing at federal prison

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Fifty-five people have now tested positive for COVID-19 inside Forrest City Federal Correctional Complex in Arkansas.

Forty-six inmates, 8 staff members, and 1 contractor have the disease, according to Arkansas’s health secretary.

“These are high-risk settings where COVID-19 can spread very easily, very rapidly,” said Dr. Nate Smith during a press conference Monday.

Outbreak behind bars at Forrest City Federal Correctional Complex

Dr. Smith and Governor Asa Hutchinson said there has been significant testing done inside the facility but more is needed.

“That’s a federal facility and so it’s not something I can control, not something Dr. Smith or the state can control,” said the Governor.

The Investigators called into the governor’s press conference and asked about the Centers for Disease Control’s visit.

Dr. Smith said the CDC came to the facility last week, and then left on Saturday. The state wants the CDC to come back.

“We’ve asked them to come and take responsibility for that because it’s a lot of testing resources that will be used in that federal facility if we’re required to do it,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Hutchinson said Dr. Smith wants the CDC to test inmates based on with whom they’ve had contact.

Arkansas officials expect more positive cases from prisons across the state once more testing is done.

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