COVID-19 Behind Bars: Hundreds Test Positive Inside Arizona Prison

More than 500 inmates at a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona have tested positive for COVID-19. KVOA's Daniel McFarland reports.

TUCSON, Ariz. (KVOA) — The Arizona Department of Corrections announced late Tuesday evening that 517 inmates at a Tucson prison have tested positive for COVID-19.

More than half of their population tested positive for the coronavirus, despite following CDC guidelines for prisons.

Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Taskforce, and Vice President Mike Pence are aware of the outbreak at the site.

Dr. Birx said that it has gotten out of control thanks to asymptomatic spread.

“In this case, it has been that the prisons have alerted us in many ways about the level of asymptomatic spread,” Dr. Birx said. “The Department of Corrections has done a great job following CDC guidelines and going in there and doing testing.”

Dr. Birx estimates that up to 70 percent of the spread has been asymptomatic based on the age of the prisoners and the quick spread of the virus.

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