Increase in asymptomatic COVID-19 cases at Neal Unit

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Public Health Department 1,121 new COVID-19 cases in the Amarillo area today. 1,014 of those coming from TDCJ’s Neal Unit inmates after a round of asymptomatic COVID-19 tests were conducted.

As of Tuesday, 40 of the Neal Unit’s employees are positive.

TDCJ spokesperson Jeremy Desel said, “…which resulted in a significant number of asymptomatic positive cases. Of the cases that are currently in the Neil Unit, there are only six that are actually symptomatic offenders. The rest of those are folks, who were showing no symptoms but the results of that mass testing has shown the asymptomatic positives.”

Desel also said this is not their first-time testing inmates.

TDCJ has conducted mass testing at their facilities for months now. Many of their locations were tested multiple times.

Desel said, “We’ve done more than 210,000 tests of offenders across our system and we only have a 120,000 offenders in the system at this point.”

The unit is now on a precautionary lockdown, which happens any time there are new cases at a unit.

Desel explained, “Which is what happens anytime there are new cases at a unit. And that means for the next fourteen days, it is on a complete restriction of movement of all offenders within that movement until those folks are deemed to be medically clear.”


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