Sheriff’s officials said they are monitoring a COVID-19 outbreak at the Lake County Jail after 14 inmates and seven corrections officers tested positive for the virus.
Four inmates and three corrections officers tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
As of Monday morning, an additional 10 inmates and four corrections officers tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of positive inmates to 14 and corrections officers to seven.
“Immediate additional mitigation protocols were initiated, in addition to the other mitigation protocols already in place,” Covelli said.
The new mitigations, which are utilized during outbreaks, consist of not allowing inmates to exit their assigned POD without the approval of jail command, cancelation of all inmate programming, inmates who are transported inside the facility are required to wear an N95 mask and inmates from different housing units are not allowed to come into contact with each other.
All of those who have tested positive are experiencing mild symptoms and no one has required hospitalization, Covelli said.
All inmates housed in the jail have been provided opportunities to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Over 280 doses of vaccine have been administered to inmates to date, Covelli said.
The current jail population is 451 inmates.
The Lake County Jail is “collaborating closely” with the Lake County Health Department and follows their best-practice guidance for mitigation procedures.
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
Covelli said the Lake County Jail conducts regular Covid-19 tests on inmates, correctional employees and correctional contractors.
Thousands of COVID-19 tests have been conducted over the past year at the jail.