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

All inmates and employees who enter the Lake County jail will be tested for COVID-19 as part of new mitigation procedures. Since the pandemic began, 16 people, including inmates and staff, have tested positive.

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has continued following vigorous protocols in our ongoing efforts to best mitigate the risks from COVID-19 spreading among employees and jail inmates,” Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.

Sheriff John Idleburg and his administrative team have been working in close collaboration with the Lake County Health Department in the mitigation effort.

In mid-July, an off-duty correctional officer began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

The correctional officer took a COVID-19 test and learned he was positive. He did not return to work for 14-days following his positive test.

In early August all Lake County jail employees were administered COVID-19 tests as a preventative measure following the expansion of testing availability.

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Nearly 140 tests were provided and two correctional officers along with one administrative assistant tested positive.

All three were asymptomatic and had no signs of illness. Those employees were immediately placed in quarantine protocol and were restricted from returning to work for 14 days, Covelli said.

The Lake County Health Department will be providing COVID-19 tests to all inmates, correctional employees, facilities staff and contractors who enter the jail facility.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of six inmates, nine correctional officers and one correctional administrative assistant have tested positive.

“I view it as a top priority to keep my employees as safe and healthy as possible, as well as the inmates in the jail who we are responsible to protect. Overall, our mitigation efforts have proven to be successful and we look forward to the ongoing increased testing in our facility,” Sheriff John Idleburg said.

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