A farm employee of the Arkansas Department of Corrections has tested positive for covid-19, a prison spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The employee typically worked outside prison walls on farming operations, according to the agency. One other employee is in self-isolation as a precaution, but no inmates have been isolated as a result of the positive test.
"He does not work inside an institution," said Dina Tyler, a spokeswoman for the department.
Tyler said the department was informed of the employee's positive test over the weekend. The employee has not been to work in over a week, she said.
The department ceased all outside visitation with inmates on March 16 and began temperature screening all staff in hopes of keeping the virus from spreading into the state's prisons. New inmates transferred from county jails are also being held in quarantine for two weeks.
Tyler said she was also informed on Tuesday that an employee had tested positive at the Bowie County Correctional Center, a private jail in Texas that holds about 325 state inmates. One Arkansas inmate being held at the jail has been in quarantine for ten days, but has shown no symptoms, Tyler said.