317 Hawaiʻi Inmates Test Positive for COVID-19 at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona

November 3, 2020, 7:00 AM HST · Updated November 2, 5:43 PM
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Broad-based testing of 1,011 Hawai‘i inmates was completed last week at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, AZ, with 575 (57%) negative, 317 (31%) positive and 46 (5%) inconclusive. Results are still pending for the remaining 73 Hawaiian inmates.

There currently are 378  Hawai‘i inmates in medical isolation at Saguaro with active positive COVID-19 cases. Six Hawaiian inmates are in the hospital. The rest of the Hawai‘i inmate population that tested negative and/or has a pending test are in quarantine as a precautionary measure.  Per CDC recommendations, all negative inmates will be retested in 3-7 days.

“The Department of Public Safety is in constant communication with the Saguaro facility administration,” said Fred Hyun, acting Public Safety Director “They have assured us they immediately enacted the facility’s isolation and quarantine protocol upon receiving the test results. Saguaro does not have an overcrowding issue and, therefore, can provide adequate space for isolation and quarantine. All positive offenders have been medically isolated, and Saguaro staff will continue to monitor the negative inmates for any symptoms”.

On top of the monitoring and testing, the Saguaro staff assured the Department of Public Safety that the facility will continue to implement stringent sanitation and hygiene measures to limit potential exposure and mitigate the spread of coronavirus to inmates and staff. There are currently 1,081 Hawaiʻi inmates housed at Saguaro.

For more information on Saguaro Correctional Center operations and CoreCivic’s COVID-19 procedure please go to CoreCivic’s COVID-19 web page.

On this page you will find information about safety protocols implemented at Saguaro to limit potential exposure and prevent the spread of coronavirus to inmates and staff. They include the following:

  • Enhanced cleaning/disinfecting and hygiene practices
  • Suspended inmate social in-person visitation as of March 18
  • Suspended all volunteer visits to the facility
  • Implemented enhanced screening of employees with no-touch infra-red thermometer and verbal health screening questionnaire
  • Conducting bi-weekly town hall meetings with all inmates –sharing information and, reminders of importance of good health habits and reporting of fever, cough and/or respiratory issues immediately
  • Suspended medical co-pays
  • Temporarily suspended non-essential programming
  • Placed posters/signage in housing units and staff areas showing how to stop the spread of germs
  • Medical screened the entire Hawai‘i population and identified inmates in the higher risk category due to ongoing health issues. These inmates have been moved to separate housing units away from the general population.

For more information on the Department of Public Safety’s planning and response to COVID-19, inmate testing data and information detailing the efforts made to safeguard the inmates, staff and public, visit our webpage. The Department of Public Safety also is working on a COVID-19 information hotline with recorded updates.

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