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Lake County Jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19

File Photo (Lake County Jail) | Photo: Google Street View.

A pregnant female inmate at the Lake County Jail tested positive on Tuesday for COVID-19, the sheriff’s office said.

The female in her 30s arrived at the jail around 10:30 a.m. April 16 after she had been arrested by North Chicago Police Department on a failure to appear arrest warrant for felony retail theft and felony theft.

She had also been charged by North Chicago police with obstruction of justice and possession of drug paraphernalia, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.

The woman attended an electronic bond hearing and was remanded to the jail on a $250,000 bond. Three hours later she was transported by ambulance to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan as she appeared lethargic.

She was diagnosed with a medical issue not relating to COVID-19 and released back to the Lake County Jail later that evening. She was placed in the medical unit of the jail when she returned.

Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said the woman was tested for COVID-19 the following day by the jail’s medical provider after she presented withdrawal-type symptoms that were similar to COVID-19 symptoms.

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On Tuesday, the jail was informed the woman’s test came back positive, Covelli said. The woman remains isolated from the general population in the medical unit.

No other inmates or correctional staff have tested positive so far. The jail continues to work closely with the Lake County Health Department.

On Saturday, the sheriff’s office reported ten Lake County Jail inmates were being monitored after a former inmate tested positive for coronavirus shortly after he was released from the jail.

Covelli said that a number of protocols have been put in place since February to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 entering the jail.

Those measures include enhanced medical screening for inmates and employees entering the jail, increased cleaning of jail pods, minimization of inmates moving from pod to pod, utilizing personal protection equipment for all jail staff, and quarantining new inmates for 14 days before they enter general population.

Vacant housing pods are also being utilized to spread the distance between inmates and a medical segregation area for inmates with mild illness has been established.


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