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PSD NEWS RELEASE – First COVID-19 positive Hawaii inmate case at Saguaro Correctional Center.

Posted on Oct 9, 2020 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD) has been notified that one (1) Hawai‘i inmate at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first confirmed case for a Hawai‘i inmate at the facility.

On Monday, Saguaro confirmed that one of their staff tested positive for COVID-19.  As a result of contact tracing, the Hawai‘i inmate was tested and moved to the medical isolation unit to await the test result, which came back positive today. Two other Hawai‘i inmates were tested and are waiting on their test results. 264 Hawai‘i inmates in three (3) housing pods were placed on a precautionary 14-day quarantine. Saguaro nursing staff are doing daily temperature checks and monitoring the inmates for symptoms. No other Hawai‘i inmates at Saguaro have tested positive for coronavirus.

“The Department is working with Saguaro to make sure all necessary precautions are taken to mitigate any potential spread of the virus,” said Acting PSD Director Fred Hyun. “Saguaro leadership has assured us that they are closely monitoring the inmates and have made the health and safety of the staff and inmates under their supervision their top priority.”

Saguaro’s total overall bed capacity is 1926. Currently, Hawai‘i inmates occupy a total of 1083 beds. For more information on Saguaro’s operations and parent company CoreCivic’s COVID-19 procedure please go to CoreCivic’s dedicated COVID-19 web page:

On their page you will find a lot of information including the items below, implemented at Saguaro Correctional Center, to limit potential exposure and prevent the spread of coronavirus to inmates and staff:

  • Enhanced cleaning/disinfecting and hygiene practices
  • Inmate social in-person visitation was suspended as of March 18
  • All volunteers entering the facility has been suspended
  • Enhanced screening of employees with no-touch infra-red thermometer and verbal health screening questionnaire
  • Bi-weekly town hall meetings with all inmates –sharing information and, reminders of importance of good health habits and reporting of fever, cough and/or respiratory issues immediately
  • Suspended medical co-pays
  • Non-essential programming has been temporarily suspended
  • Posters/signage placed in housing units and staff areas showing how to stop the spread of germs
  • Medical screened the entire Hawaii population and identified inmates in the higher risk category due to ongoing health issues. These inmates have been moved to separate housing units away from the general population.

For more information on PSD’s planning and response to COVID-19, inmate testing data, and information detailing the efforts made to safeguard the inmates, staff and public, visit our webpage at:

Toni Schwartz
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Public Safety
Office: 808-587-1358
Cell: 808-683-5507
[email protected]