The Arkansas Department of Correction quarantined nearly 300 inmates Thursday after identifying five suspected cases of chicken pox, the agency said in a release.
The group of inmates at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys will reportedly remain quarantined through Oct. 10, and the isolation will be lifted the following day if no new cases are reported.
Quarantined inmates will have visitation privileges and group activities restricted during that time, agency spokesman Solomon Graves said.
The prison will require all visitors to sign a notice acknowledging the presence of chicken pox at the facility and the associated risks, according to the release.
Staff diagnosed with the disease will reportedly be restricted from duty until released by their physician. Employees without documented evidence that they have had chicken pox and those that have not been vaccinated for the virus will not work with the quarantine group, the agency said.
Arkansas' prison and health departments and the prison's contract medical services provider, Correct Care Solutions, are working together to address the suspected outbreak, the release said.
Brickeys, in Lee County, is about 110 miles east of Little Rock and 46 miles south and west of Memphis.