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

The sheriff’s office said that 11 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 this week in the latest outbreak at the Lake County Jail.

Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Lt. Christopher Covelli said an inmate in POD 4-North showed symptoms of COVID-19 on Friday and later tested positive. The inmate was moved to the jail’s medical POD.

A newly remanded inmate tested positive upon their arrival at the jail that same day. That inmate was also moved to the jail’s medical POD.

On Sunday, another inmate in POD 4-North tested positive and was moved to the jail’s medical POD.

On Tuesday, all of the inmates in POD 4-North were tested. Two more POD-4 North inmates tested positive and were moved to a quarantine area in POD 4-North.

On Thursday, the results were received from the remaining 42 inmates tested in POD 4-North, which revealed an additional six inmates who tested positive.

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Those six inmates were non-symptomatic. They were moved to the quarantine area in POD 4-North.

All of the inmates who have tested positive are either non-symptomatic or are experiencing mild symptoms, Covelli said.

All of the inmates housed in POD 4-North will be tested again in the upcoming days. POD 4-North is currently in quarantine status, meaning there will be no internal or external movement of inmates to or from the pod.

Covelli said that all inmates housed in the jail have been provided opportunities to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

78 inmates have consented and received at least one dose of the vaccine. The current jail population is 434 inmates.

Covelli said that a number of protocols have been in effect to reduce the likelihood of the virus from spreading in the jail.

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Those include the following:

  • Enhanced medical screening for inmates and employees entering the jail
  • All newly remanded inmates are COVID-19 rapid tested upon entry into the jail
  • Inmates are then placed in a ten-day hold
  • After the ten-day hold, inmates are COVID-19 rapid tested again, before being moved to general population
  • All newly remanded inmates are provided an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine
  • All jail inmates are provided ongoing opportunities to receive a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Increased cleanings of jail pods
  • Minimization of inmates moving from pod to pod
  • Established a medical segregation area for inmates with mild illness symptoms
  • Worked with Courts & criminal justice partners to establish electronic bond hearings, versus in-person hearings
  • Inmates who receive a recognizance bond at their initial hearing never enter the jail’s general population area
  • Utilizing PPEs for all jail staff
  • All inmates wear facemasks when outside of their cell for any reason
  • Utilize vacant housing pods to spread the distance between inmates
  • Inmates are required to eat in their cell, rather than a group setting
  • Inmates are allowed to have their cell doors open during socialization times, but congregated together in common areas are not allowed
  • Regular COVID-19 testing of jail inmates and jail employees
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The sheriff’s office said the Lake County Jail collaborates closely with the Lake County Health Department and follows the health department’s best-practice guidance for mitigation procedures.

The Lake County Jail conducts regular COVID-19 tests on inmates, correctional employees and correctional contractors. Over the past year, nearly 3,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted on inmates, staff and contractors.

The last outbreak to occur at the jail happened in late December when over 40 inmates contracted the virus.