Prison officials say Calico Rock inmate COVID-19 case was “false positive”

Prison officials say Calico Rock inmate COVID-19 case was “false positive”
There was a false positive case reported of COVID-19 at the North Central Unit in Calico Rock, state prison officials said Saturday. (Source: Arkansas Dept. of Corrections)

CALICO ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - There was a false positive case reported of COVID-19 at the North Central Unit in Calico Rock, state prison officials said Saturday.

According to a tweet from the Arkansas Department of Corrections, the number of recovered inmates decreased due to the removal of cases that had been counted twice.

“Positive inmates (not recovered) are at the Cummins, EARU, and RLW Units. A False Positive was reported earlier this week at the North Central Unit,” the tweet noted.

Arkansas Department of Corrections officials said Saturday there were currently no inmate COVID-19 cases at the North Central Unit in Calico Rock. Officials cited a false positive case as a reason for the mix-up.
Arkansas Department of Corrections officials said Saturday there were currently no inmate COVID-19 cases at the North Central Unit in Calico Rock. Officials cited a false positive case as a reason for the mix-up. (Source: Arkansas Department of Corrections Twitter)

State prison officials said earlier this week that an inmate at a Northeast Arkansas state prison had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Cindy Murphy, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC), told our NBC affiliate KNWA in Rogers that it was the first positive case of COVID-19 at the North Central Unit in Calico Rock.

“An inmate tested positive [Thursday],” she said. “We’re working with the Arkansas Department of Health to test all inmates and staff who had contact with the inmate.”

The Izard County prison houses 795 inmates.

Since the pandemic began, three other prisons across the state have reported infected inmates and staff, including:

  • Cummins Unit in Grady
  • Randall L. Williams Unit in Pine Bluff
  • Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Forrest City.

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