El Paso County Jail inmates: We’re being punished for testing positive for COVID-19

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Two El Paso County Jail inmates are voicing concerns about their treatment inside the jail after they tested positive for COVID-19.

William Wyatt and Joshua Thompson say they tested positive on August 11. Since then, they say, they have been placed in Bravo, an area of the jail that is referred to by inmates as “the hole.”

According to Wyatt and Thompson, their cells are in one of the oldest areas of the jail that is most often used for inmates who have misbehaved while incarcerated. They say they are being punished for testing positive.

An El Paso County Jail inmate stands near a phone inside the jail

“I’d say nine of out ten people in here have mental health issues,” Wyatt told FOX21. “There’s a guy that screams and bangs on the doors all night. There’s guys in here that draw on the walls with their fecal matter. It’s called ‘the hole.’ It’s a punishment place.”

FOX21 reached out to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office after talking to the inmates. According to Lt. Deborah Mynatt, Bravo is an area of the jail that some inmates who have tested positive for COVID have been placed in.

A list of previous COVID-19 case numbers reported in the jail

Mynatt told FOX21 there is a process the jail follows to make sure sick inmates are kept away from healthy inmates in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“COVID-19, in any jail environment, can be very complex and the complexity of this can’t be understated especially when the entire medical community is still learning and developing treatment protocols during the pandemic in real time,” Mynatt said.

The El Paso County Jail releases its COVID-19 numbers every Monday. For the latest jail case numbers, click here.

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