DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday an employee and an inmate have both tested positive for the coronavirus. Deputies said the employee and inmate did not have contact.
In a press release sent to FOX 5 News, the sheriff’s office stated the 35-year-old inmate was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment after testing positive during an in-custody medical assessment. He remained in the secured Grady Hospital Detention Center as of Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the 57-year-old employee is on sick leave following his testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The sheriff’s office said the employee had been on medical leave for another issue since March 13.
Sheriff Melody M. Maddox released the following statement:
“We were informed of the inmate’s screening results by Grady physicians who were treating the inmate for other medical concerns Upon notification, we immediately instituted our protocols for identifying and isolating individuals who might have had contact with the inmate since he has been incarcerated here.
“Those precautions include conducting additional medical assessment of other inmates and officers for any symptoms to ensure that anyone who did have contact with the infected inmate is isolated so they can receive the proper medical attention.”
The sheriff stated the agency is performing a “reverse contact investigation” to determine who might have encountered either and to advise those people to self-quarantine and possibly seek medical attention.
The sheriff also said new procedures have been put into place for all buildings secured by deputies. Anyone seeking to enter the jail or the courthouse must undergo a temperature check at the entrance. Anyone running a fever will be turned away.
The sheriff said she will continue to evaluate and adjust procedures based on new developments and at recommendations of health officials.
State health officials expect to see more confirmed cases and deaths as testing continues and the virus spreads within local communities.
DPH says it is working closely with the CDC, and state partners to respond to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., including Georgia. The goal is to quickly identify cases of COVID-19 and take the appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public.
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Public health officials have urged social distancing to slow down or stop the spread of coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults who are 60+ and people with serious medical conditioners, such as heart disease and diabetes, are at higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus.
Georgia Coronavirus Hotline: 844-442-2681
Best prevention measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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