Enhanced COVID-19 PCR testing took place for staff this week at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC) in Yuma.

The move is part of a statewide plan to provide testing to all correctional officers and prison employees, the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) announced Thursday.

“As part of Governor Ducey’s work to expand COVID-19 testing across Arizona, the Department is working to prioritize serology testing for all correctional officers in addition to this PCR program in Yuma,” the press release said.

The COVID-19 PCR swab testing took place between Tuesday and Thursday, using an onsite mobile testing process at the Yuma prison complex. It was conducted by the Regional Center for Border Health, based in Somerton, following a partnership between the Arizona Department of Health Services, Sen. Lisa Otondo, Rep. Charlene Fernandez and Rep. Geraldine Peten.

“More than 1,200 staff members including 890 correctional officers as well as contract employees at the facility are able to participate,” the press release noted.

“This is an exceptional bipartisan example of people coming together in service for the greater good in providing COVID-19 testing to our brave frontline men and women who continue to define public service throughout the pandemic,” said ADCRR Director David Shinn in the press release. “I wish to thank Sen. Otondo for reaching out regarding staff-wide testing at Yuma and also wish to thank ADHS director, Dr. Cara Christ and Representatives Fernandez and Peten along with Amanda Aguirre, President and CEO of the Regional Center for Border Health for their collaboration.”

“I’m thrilled that LD4 Democrats were able to collaborate with the Arizona Department of Corrections, Director Shinn and the Regional Center for Border Health to bring 1,000 COVID tests to the Yuma Prison. Amanda Aguirre and her staff stepped up and stepped forward to help. Words are not enough to describe how deeply grateful I am to Amanda and her staff for the life-saving work they are doing in Arizona,” said Otondo in the press release.

ADCRR said it is maintaining “a vigilant posture with rigorous ongoing symptom checks across all of its state complexes, including temperature checks for everyone entering facilities,” according to the press release.

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