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20 inmates in McHenry County Jail test positive for COVID-19 in new outbreak

File Photo | McHenry County Jail

20 inmates at the McHenry County Jail tested positive for COVID-19 and all inmates at the jail have been placed in lockdown due to the outbreak, officials said.

McHenry County Sheriff Sgt. Aimee Knop said the positive inmates are county inmates and none of the cases are in the ICE detention area of the jail.

“Because of this, all inmates/detainees in all blocks are on quarantine isolation lockdown,” Knop said. No one has been transported to the hospital yet.

Rights court, which is where an arrestee’s bond is set, is still functioning normally and special afternoon video appearances are being allowed on a case-by-case basis.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said their current procedures include all inmates being screened and receiving a rapid test upon entry to the facility.

If the inmate is negative and symptom-free, they’ll be put into quarantine for 14 days and then retested and if negative, they will be released into the general population section of the jail.

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Inmates who test positive or are symptomatic are moved to the medical pod, PCR tested and then begin a 10-day isolation, Knop said.

All jail employees receive a rapid test once per week during the 28-day outbreak period. If an employee tests positive, they will be sent home to quarantine for 10 days. All inmates in the jail receive rapid tests once per week.

The McHenry County Department of Health notified the jail on Friday that they would be making vaccines available to inmates on a voluntary basis beginning this week. Jail staff has already begun receiving the vaccine.

At the beginning of February, 11 inmates tested positive for the virus in a separate outbreak.