More than 100 inmates, staff at Wake County jail facilities have tested positive during ongoing COVID-19 outbreak


FILE – This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – More than 100 inmates and staff at Wake County jail facilities have tested positive for COVID-19 during an outbreak that dates back “several months,” according to the sheriff’s office.

In total, 56 inmates at the Public Safety Center and 43 inmates at the Wake County Detention Center have tested positive for the virus. Additionally, 17 employees have had the virus, Wake County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Eric Curry said.

All inmates who test positive are housed in isolation dorms. They are separated from general populations and placed in single cells.

“No one has ever faced something like this before,” Sheriff Gerald Baker said in a news release. “This pandemic has forced us to change our practices and policies constantly to ensure that we do our best to keep staff and residents safe from contracting this potentially deadly disease.”

Curry mentioned changes to protocols caused by the pandemic. They include quarantining new inmates, testing for employees and inmates, mask policies for staff and inmates, and thermoscans for visitors and employees entering facilities.

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