More than 70 inmates at El Paso County Jail test positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus
criminal justice center - el paso county jaily

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) is confirming a large COVID-19 outbreak at the jail. In the past 24 hours, 64 more inmates have lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, 63 of which stemmed from the eight inmates in the media release earlier this week who tested positive for COVID-19. 

This brings the current total of infected inmates to 72. 

The eight inmates were identified as a result of routine quarantine and testing prior to movement out to the Department of Corrections to carry out their sentence.

According to EPSO, inmates have been isolated and all employees and inmates who have had direct or indirect contact, or other work-related contact have been contacted and/or notified.

A total of 112 staff members were tested Wednesday.

In a release EPSO said, this current COVID situation is the top priority of Sheriff Elder and the Staff at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. 

In March, the Sheriff’s Office put in place emergency operating plans for this circumstance.  They say they were prepared and plan to make significant adjustments to how they operate the facility to combat this outbreak. EPSO said they plan to test and care for every employee and inmate and provide the safest facility possible under these rapidly evolving conditions.

The threat of further infection will continue to increase over the next several weeks.  Within the next week we will be testing all employees and inmates. In addition to testing, they are providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to inmates.

As of Thursday, there have been no inmates who have had to be hospitalized.  Inmates are all being treated in the facility by our medical provider, WellPath.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, who are tracking the COVID outbreaks across the state saw a spike in COVID-19 outbreaks in correctional facilities for the month of October. Colorado had 15 statewide so far. Since March, Colorad has an average 2.6 per week, 42 overall.

These outbreaks have produced heavy amounts of cases. Correctional outbreaks since March have infected a confirmed 1,485 inmates with another 605 suspected, along with a confirmed 251 infected staff.

Since video visitation remains closed, those members of our community who have incarcerated friends or family can visit using the following link: https://visitation.epcsheriffsoffice.com/StartPage/index.php.

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