The Alabama Department of Corrections on Thursday announced an employee at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women died after testing positive for COVID-19, becoming the first prison worker to die after testing positive in the state.
Three more women serving at Tutwiler, and another worker, have also tested positive for coronavirus, ADOC said in a statement Thursday.
“The ADOC extends its heartfelt condolences to the employee’s family and loved ones during this difficult time, and is forever grateful for the employee’s service to the Department,” ADOC said in the statement.
There have been 29 confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff at Tutwiler, and seven cases among women serving there, according to ADOC. The prison was at 175 percent capacity in April, according to the department’s monthly statistical report.
Five inmates have died after testing positive for COVID-19, but the number of confirmed cases among those serving in state prisons remains very low. There have been 62 confirmed cases among inmates. Just 307 of Alabama’s more than 22,000 inmates have been tested, however, according to ADOC.
ADOC also announced that an employee at the Criminal Justice Center in Montgomery and another worker at Tutwiler also tested positive for coronavirus.
The department is investigating to see whether other staff or inmates had “direct, prolonged exposure” to the infected workers, and will advise them to seek medical care and self-quarantine for 14 days, according to the statement.
Of the 152 confirmed cases among staff, 80 remain active, according to ADOC.
Six more inmates have also tested positive for COVID-19.
In addition to the three new cases at Tutwiler, inmates at the Alabama Therapeutic Education Facility, the Draper Quarantine Intake Facility and the Staton Correctional Facility also tested positive for COVID-19.
Numerous state prisons are under varying levels of quarantine, with inmate and staff coronavirus cases now spread across 27 of the state’s 32 facilities.