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11 inmates quarantined at Jackson County Jail

The Jackson County Jail is undergoing quarantine and containment protocols after nearly a dozen inmates held in a long-term unit tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

Eleven inmates who’ve shared a common area since Jan. 31 are being quarantined and monitored by medics at the jail after 10 inmates in the unit tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a release issued Thursday night by the sheriff’s office. One of the inmates being quarantined refused to be tested.

Because all inmates in the unit are held on serious criminal charges that include felony sex crimes such as first-degree rape, or are in federal custody, early release is not an option.

The inmates first exhibited symptoms Monday, and test results came back Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office. As of Thursday evening, each of the inmates are described as having “minor” symptoms and “can be adequately treated within the facility.”

Jail staff are working on contact tracing to determine the source of the infection.

Earlier this month, a single inmate was quarantined after coming into contact with an inmate from another county who showed symptoms, according to a Feb. 5 news report.

The current Jackson County Jail was built in 1981 and currently houses 315 inmates. Mail Tribune file photo.