A federal prison complex near Raleigh has begun mass testing for COVID-19 after six inmates died in eight days.
The warden of the Butner federal prison complex sent out an email saying that all inmates in a low-security facility would be tested for COVID-19 this week.
The News & Observer reports that 15 inmates at the prison have died since March.
The complex, located about 30 miles north of Raleigh, is made up of three facilities. The low-security building currently houses 1,170 inmates, or about a quarter of the prison's total population.
The first major outbreak at Butner occurred at one of its two medium-security facilities. All inmates who tested positive were then moved into what had been a closed special housing unit. That unit now has the most active cases, affecting 270 inmates and seven staff members.
Last week, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Butner claiming the prison is overcrowded and demanding that vulnerable inmates be released to home confinement. It also requests that the prison put together a plan for stricter measures protecting inmates and staff.