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SHELBY COUNTY, TN – The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) will test inmates and staff at the Shelby County Division of Corrections facility at 1045 Mullins Station Road beginning June 2, 2020, and will continue until June 8, 2020. This testing is made possible through a partnership between Shelby County Government and the Tennessee Department of Health. Shelby County Health Department employees will conduct the testing, and the Tennessee Department of Health will pay for the test kits, laboratory fees, and personal protective equipment for SCHD personnel. Testing will be offered to all 517 Corrections Division staff members and the almost 1,500 inmates at the Shelby County Correctional facility.
“Men and women serving time and those awaiting trial deserve humanity and compassion, just like all the rest of us, said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. That’s why we have been working so hard to surge the testing at our facilities. This surge is expected to be one of the largest organized testing efforts since the arrival of COVID-19. We will continue to expand our efforts to make our facilities safe, protect the vulnerable, and lift the least of these concerns.”
“Inmates and employees in correctional facilities are considered vulnerable populations because their congregate living arrangements make social distancing very difficult,” said Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter. “Testing of the facilities’ general population and the staff may identify any asymptomatic cases so they may be isolated to reduce the spread of the virus.”
“Having this opportunity to provide COVID-19 testing to our staff and offenders is comforting,” said Corrections Director Anthony C. Alexander. “Corrections employees are first responders who risk their health and safety daily, and our offenders deserve to be housed in a safe and humane environment. Testing will provide much needed reassurance to our employees, offenders, and their families.”
The Shelby County Health Department is pleased to partner with the Tennessee Department of Health on this collaborative project to protect a vulnerable population from COVID-19 and help control the spread of our virus in our community.
For more information about COVID-19 and community testing, please call the Shelby County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline (833-943-1658) or visit the Health Department’s COVID-19 webpage: shelbytnhealth.com/coronavirus.