STANLY COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Two inmates have died from coronavirus complications at Albemarle Correctional Institution as more than 100 inmates there have tested positive for the virus.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, at least 103 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus at the prison in Stanly County.
The results come from a mass testing effort. The number of positive cases at the facility makes it one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the North Carolina prison system.
Prison officials tested 774 inmates at Albemarle Correctional. 103 inmates tested positive, while 671 tested negative.
On July 24, two inmates died at the hospital from virus complications. Both inmates had pre-existing health conditions complicated by the coronavirus.
On June 18, officials announced that all inmates will be tested for COVID-19 at state prisons in North Carolina. North Carolina Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee announced that based on updated guidance from DHHS, state prison officials have started the testing process of all 31,200 offenders throughout the state prison system for COVID-19.
The announcement of this testing came after a court order that all inmates be tested.
A North Carolina judge ordered a temporary stop to many of the transfers. In a written order signed June 16, Wake County Superior Court Judge Vinston Rozier Jr. said that the prisons must stop transferring inmates - unless they need to be moved for medical reasons or because of a serious risk to their safety — without first testing an inmate or putting them in medical isolation for 14 days after being transferred.
The coronavirus outbreak at Albemarle is currently the third largest in the state prison system.
The largest was at Neuse Correctional Institution, in Goldsboro, where more than 460 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. The second largest has been at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, in Raleigh, where more than 200 inmates have tested positive for the virus.