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DIGGING DEEPER: Inmate vaccinations continue inside Arizona prisons

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 43 Arizona state prison inmates have died of COVID-19.

There have also been more than 12,000 reported positive cases.

As of this week, more than 2,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported among inmates at the Arizona State Prison on South Wilmot Road.

Vaccinations for the more than 4,600 inmates inside the Wilmot facility, and other state prisons began rolling out back in mid-March.

According to the Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Re-entry, ADCRR, as of last week, more than 22,000 vaccinations had been administered to inmates at ten state prisons.

An additional 5,000-plus vaccines have gone to inmates in private prisons. 

However, it is not just inmates who have tested positive for the virus.

ADCRR says more than 2,700 staff have self-reported positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The department says nearly all have since recovered. 

According to the latest numbers, more than one-third ​of the state’s 36,000 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

ADCRR says they will continue to offer the vaccines as they are allocated to the department in the weeks ahead. 

Paul Birmingham

Paul Birmingham is an Investigative Producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. He is a three time Edward R. Murrow award winner, native Tucsonan, and a proud Arizona Wildcat.

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