New housing and screenings measures in place at DeKalb jail after 3 test positive for coronavirus

Two inmates and one employee at the DeKalb County Jail tested positive for Covid19 in March, according to DeKalb Sheriff Melody Maddox. Now, all of the 1,383 inmates at the DeKalb County Jail are under a 14-day quarantine that started earlier this week.

“We want to make sure our inmates our safe, our staff is safe and their families are safe,” said Sheriff Maddox. “Inmates will be received meals in their cells in Styrofoam containers and will be required to stay in the cells for 23 hours a day. They will be allowed to take scheduled video calls, but public visitation is over for now,” said Maddox.

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In a news conference Friday afternoon outside of the jail, Sheriff Maddox indicated the infected employee hasn't been at work since mid-March and the COVID-19 positive inmates are in the 5-Northeast section of the jail undergoing treatment in isolation. According to officials, the newest inmate to test positive is a 71-year-old man who is now in stable condition.

The jail's health service administrator said her staff has what they need to care for the COVID-19 patients.

“For privacy reasons, I can't discuss the specifics, but I can tell you the fact that they’re still here means they are considered stable,” said Terri Von Dorn, a nurse who supervises jail medical care.

SEE ALSO: DeKalb County sheriff: Inmate, employee test positive for the coronavirus

The sheriff said new screening measures are also in place for anyone who enters the jail. New inmates and the arresting officers will have their temperatures taken before they enter the facility and new inmates will be housed separately for five days before they are housed with the general population. All inmates are also slated for daily health checks until further notice. Employees and vendors are also subject to temperature checks as well.

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