98 percent of Tennessee inmates, staff tested for COVID-19 are asymptomatic, officials say
Tennessee officials launched an effort to test all state prison inmates and prison staff for COVID-19 on May 4, and they say that many inmates and staff that tested positive for the virus have been asymptomatic.
"The good news is about 98 percent of them are completely asymptomatic," said Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. "They're well. They feel good."
She said the fact that they're asymptomatic at such a high rate is "a bit unusual."
Nearly half of all inmates at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center have tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday. One inmate at the facility died after testing positive and other inmates were hospitalized.
According to Piercey, about 98 percent of inmates who tested positive are asymptomatic.
Piercey added that, as the state continues to test inmates, the case count will increase. "That doesn't cause us alarm."
She said that the testing for the staff and inmates is expected to be finished over the weekend or into next week.