The Alabama Department of Corrections has tested 17 inmates in nine of the state’s prisons for the novel coronavirus. All tests so far have been negative.
Five more inmates have been tested, but their results are pending.
ADOC began publishing test data on its website Thursday. It says it will update the information twice a week.
“The Alabama Department of Corrections remains committed to maintaining transparency – without compromising security –throughout the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, and has been working to aggregate relevant data to keep the public informed about the health and well-being of those who live and work in our facilities,” the department says.
The first batch of testing data released from the department comes as a number of advocacy groups, families, former law enforcement officials and activists have called on the state to take extraordinary steps to protect vulnerable inmates in the state’s prisons.
They say that overcrowding in the prisons makes them particularly susceptible to an outbreak of the virus.