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LITTLE ROCK -- Forty-eight inmates have tested positive for the new coronavirus at a second Arkansas state prison, health officials said Wednesday.

Dr Nathaniel Smith, the state's health secretary, said 48 inmates at the Randall L. Williams Unit in Pine Bluff have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The Department of Corrections said the remaining 152 inmates in the building where the positive cases were found have tested negative for the virus.

The 518-inmate state prison is the second in Arkansas where the virus has been reported among inmates. Health officials say 900 inmates have tested positive for the virus at the Cummins Unit, and seven from the facility have died from COVID-19. The outbreak has prompted a lawsuit by inmates who accuse the state of doing too little to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Health Department reported at least 4,236 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, an increase over the 4,164 reported Tuesday. The true number is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The number of deaths in the state blamed on COVID-19 rose from 95 to 97.

State Desk on 05/15/2020

Print Headline: 48 inmates positive for virus at 2nd Arkansas prison

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