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LITTLE ROCK — Two state prison inmates have died while being treated for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, according to the Arkansas Department of Correction.

One inmate, a man in his 80s serving a sentence at the Ouachita River Unit in Malvern for sexual assault, died at a Hot Springs hospital and the second, a man in his 40s serving a burglary sentence at the East Arkansas Regional Unit at Brickeys died at a hospital in North Little Rock, the department said Friday.

Both men, whose names were not released, died Friday, the department said.

Department spokesperson Cindy Murphy said more than 3,800 state prison inmates have tested positive for the virus and 27 have died.

The state health department said Friday there were 37,249 reported cases statewide and 394 deaths due to COVID-19.

The true number of cases is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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