Arkansas health care worker dies from virus; 348 positive cases reported at Cummins Unit


Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith announced Sunday that a health care worker has died from COVID-19.

This is the first time a health care worker has died from the virus in Arkansas, according to Dr. Smith. The person worked at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff and helped treat the first people with positive cases in the county.

348 people tested positive at the Cummins Unit in Grady, according to the governor. Eight barracks at the prison have inmates who have tested positive for the virus and seven do not. Three people have been hospitalized but most are asymptomatic.

The Department of Health has received a total of 634 test results from the prison, the governor said. Of the 348 positive tests at the prison, six staff members have tested positive. Officials say these are the first staff members at Cummins to contract the disease.

Governor Hutchinson and officials at the Cummins Unit have asked for a review of all non-violent, non-sex offenders due for release within the next six months; there’s are 1,990 inmates who fit those criteria, saying they will be screened by the parole board and the ADC and considered for release.