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.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

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