Prisoner at Salt Lake County Jail tests positive for COVID-19

Photo Courtesy: cdc.gov

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, April 2, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A prisoner at the Salt Lake County Jail has received a positive test result for COVID-19, officials said Thursday.

In addition, a deputy and a civilian employee at the jail have had positive results, said a news release from Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

“The prisoner is medically isolated and all individuals housed in the same unit have been moved to medical quarantine cells,” said a news release from Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. “The prisoner who tested positive presented with flu-like symptoms on Tuesday, March 31. The prisoner was immediately isolated in a negative pressure cell and, after testing negative for flu, was tested for COVID-19.”

The Oxbow Jail prisoner was under a precautionary quarantine with the rest of his unit when he presented with symptoms, the news release said. Based on physician recommendations, deputies transferred 51 prisoners, in small groups, to the Metro Jail to be medically quarantined in individual cells. Deputies facilitating the transfer used CDC-recommended personal protective equipment during the transfer. Prisoners were given a mask for the transfer and were provided new clothing and bedding. Vehicles and equipment were sanitized.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our staff, prisoners, and the public,” said Sheriff Rosie Rivera. “Over the last three weeks the jail has been preparing to handle COVID-19. We want to assure the community who have loved ones working at or incarcerated in our facility that we are doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that we will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.”

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The Sheriff’s Office was also notified Thursday that a deputy and civilian employee have tested positive for COVID-19. The deputy and civilian have not been in the facility in the last five days.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the Salt Lake County Health Department on COVID-19 prevention and monitoring, the news release said. An additional 94 prisoners are under medical evaluation and quarantine protocols are being followed. To date, six prisoners have been tested for COVID-19 at the jail; five have come back negative and one positive as detailed above.

Rivera continued: “I want to thank our jail staff for continuing to do their jobs under these difficult circumstances. Times of crisis are when our communities need us most and our deputies and civilian staff are answering that call.”

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.

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