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Saguaro Correctional Facility Sign

ELOY -- Hawaii’s jail and prison oversight commission is demanding an investigation by the state's Department of Public Safety into an attorney’s claim that more than a dozen correctional staff at the Eloy private prison housing Hawaii inmates have COVID-19.

CoreCivic, the prison’s operator, said that two staff members have been confirmed to have COVID-19 at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, where more than 1,100 Hawaii inmates are housed under an agreement with the Department of Public Safety.

Amanda Gilchrist, a CoreCivic spokeswoman, said the two Saguaro staff members have both completed a 14-day self-isolation and were medically cleared to come back to work.

In a May 13 letter to Hawaii Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda, the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission laid out a number of other allegations made by the Nevada attorney whose client is housed at Saguaro, including that guards only recently began wearing masks and that social distancing is not being practiced.

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