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story.lead_photo.caption This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes covid-19. - Photo by NIAID-RML via AP

Two hospitalized Arkansas prison inmates who tested positive for covid-19 died Wednesday, according to a Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

The inmates, unnamed in a news release from the agency, had both been serving sentences at the Ouachita River Unit in Malvern.

One inmate, in his 70s, was serving a sentence on a drug-related offense and died at UAMS Medical Center, while the other, in his 60s, was serving a sentence for kidnapping and died at Saline Memorial Hospital, the release states.

The two had been hospitalized at least in part due to their virus symptoms, according to agency spokeswoman Cindy Murphy.

At least 27 inmates in Arkansas have died of covid-19, according to a Department of Health report from Thursday, and 1,259 inmates have tested positive at the Ouachita River Unit.

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