Two staff members at the Marion County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office learned on Monday. The news came in a press release from the sheriff’s office late Thursday afternoon.
“We are working closely with Marion County Health and Human Services as they conduct their case investigation” the release said. “We have a duty to protect private health information and cannot share details about the affected employees.”
After learning of the positive tests at the facility, Sheriff Joe Kast notified local law enforcement agencies in Marion County on Tuesday. Courts operating in Marion County were notified the following day.
“We are continuing to encourage local law enforcement agencies to cite and release in the field and to only lodge adults at the Marion County Jail for offenses which pose a significant risk to our community,” the sheriff’s office said.
The MCSO says their team began taking proactive measures for a possible outbreak at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, including acquiring personal protective equipment for all staff, increasing cleaning protocols and establishing enhanced medical screening prior to adults being brought into the facility.
They are utilizing an unused housing unit to transition adults in custody to individual cells within the next few days.
“As a community, we have all been impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19,” the MCSO statement said. “We will continue to follow the guidance given by public health officials to protect our staff, adults in our custody and our community.”
The statement did not say if any prisoners had been tested for or diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
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