As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the Lane County Jail is not immune to the increase. Five new cases have been reported at the jail since last week.
As detainees wait for their day in court, Lane County Jail has been accepting people from other facilities. But that may be contributing to an increase in cases at the jail. In fact, one of the jail’s first positive cases occurred from some who transferred from another facility.
Lane County Sheriff Public Information Officer, Sgt. Carrie Carver said the jail has medical staff on duty at all times. All new detainees at Lane County Jail are screened by the jail’s medical provider, Wellpath, prior to entering the facility.
“All new custodies are offered a COVID-19 test at intake, and are housed in a single person's cell for observation for a minimum of 14 days—even with a negative test,” said Carver. “If the person refuses a COVID-19 test, they're placed on a 14-day quarantine and evaluated by medical prior to being eligible for dormitory style housing.”
As of October 7, the Lane County Jail had performed 2,869 tests, with 13 inmates testing positive for COVID-19. Carver said all detainees who tested positive did so upon arrival.
But during the prior week, Lane County Jail reported testing a total of 2,732 people and 8 were positive. That’s 137 more tests in the past week and five new positive cases.
According to Lane County Public Health, no jail staff have tested positive. Onsite medical staff can provide COVID-19 testing to staff upon request, as well as when there's an exposure to someone who is known to be a positive case.
And since the jail does have these COVID-19 protocols, Carver said they will continue to accept detainees from other facilities.
“The Sheriff's Office will continue to accept custodies from other facilities because the jail has the ability to test all new custodies and to house them in those single person's cells for medical observation for a minimum of 14 days—even with that negative COVID-19 test—to prevent the spread,” said Carver.