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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

NC Prisons Begin Screenings As 4 Prisoners Now Have COVID-19

N.C. prisons chief Todd Ishee
N.C. Department of Public Safety

North Carolina's prison system has begun health screenings of all staff and visitors, and new prisoners are being tested and quarantined for 14 days. Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee says the moves are aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, which has now sickened four prisoners and four employees.

"The screening includes checks for folks that have a temperature of over 100 degrees, have symptoms of respiratory illness, or been exposed in the past 14 days, or have been in contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19," Ishee said during a press conference in Raleigh Thursday.  

Ishee said infected prisoners were previously in isolation and are remaining there, with medical care. And the prisons are continuing with cleaning and prevention efforts. Prisoners are now making masks, which are being distributed to prison staff.

Two prisoners with the coronavirus are at Neuse Correctional Institution in Wayne County, and one each at prisons in Johnston and Halifax counties. Infected staff members work at Central Prison in Raleigh, Johnston Correctional Institution, and Eastern and Maury prisons, both in Greene County. 

State officials previously have suspended prison visits as they try to prevent the virus from spreading.

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