23 inmates ‘medically isolated’ for COVID-19 at Sedgwick Co. jail

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 10:27 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday morning 23 inmates at the jail have been medically isolated for COVID-19. This comes after an inmate tested positive for the virus last week.

Col. Brian White, with the sheriff’s office, said the inmate developed symptoms and was immediately isolated. Two days later, the test results came back positive.

White said the sheriff’s office contacted the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and everyone who had contact with the inmate over the past 48 hours was tested.

Of the 49 inmates tested, 22 tested positive for COVID-19, or are presumed positive while their await test results. Those who tested positive for the virus are now in isolation. White said each inmate has his own cell and shares common space. The deputy who manages them is also in an enclosed area. The inmates are allowed in the common space individually. The area is then cleaned by the deputy before the next inmate can come out. The sheriff’s office prefers that for the inmates to clean themselves in their cell at this time but accommodations will be made if they need or would like to shower. Inmates in isolation are still able to contact their attorneys by video conferencing, email or mail.

The 27 other inmates tested are still in quarantine to ensure they remain symptom-free, according to the sheriff’s office. They have already tested negative or results are still pending.

White said the original inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 remains in isolation. Deputies who had contact with this inmate were given the option to be tested. None exhibited any symptoms and all seven tested received negative results.

Another inmate, unrelated to this case, is also in isolation after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, according to White.

He said the sheriff’s office does not test every inmate who comes into the Sedgwick County jail, but every inmate has their temperature taken, try to “mask them up” before they come and do a review about where they’ve been. He also said staff at the jail is doing a good job to maintain a healthy environment for themselves.

Col. White said the entire facility was sterilized on Monday. He said this has been done two other times in the past few months.

To date, 24 inmates at the Sedgwick County jail have tested positive for COVID-19. The jail currently houses 1,480 inmates.


WATCH LIVE: Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter is holding a briefing to discuss COVID-19 at the jail. #kwch12

Posted by KWCH 12 Eyewitness News on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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