EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — A COVID-19 outbreak at the El Paso County jail has infected hundreds of inmates and staff.
As of Wednesday, November 11, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) confirmed 148 inmates and 19 staff members have contracted COVID-19. Since the pandemic arrived in Colorado in March, 863 inmates and 90 staff members in total have tested postivie for COVID-19.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) has created a web page to provide transparency for COVID-19 updates involving inmates and staff.
The El Paso County Jail has 1305 inmates, 224 deputies and 133 civilian employees in total, according to EPSO.
The family of an inmate being held at the CJC, Dustin Maness, reached out to FOX21 News about their concerns over the Sheriff’s Office’s handling of the outbreak. Maness is currently facing charges including attempted murder, theft, harassment, and robbery. He is scheduled to do an interview on Friday with FOX21.
The family said Maness first tested negative for COVID-19, but later, developed symptoms. They said he was tested again on Wednesday and is waiting for those results.
“It’s just constant worry; we are doing a lot of praying,” Pamela Hill, Maness’s mother, said. “Praying for Dustin and praying for the other inmates and praying for the other officers that are having to work in there for all the staff who are in danger lot of praying. If not, we just have a meltdown.”
Maness’ family is asking for more transparency. They said they’re frustrated with the lack of information and suggested having a dedicated information line for the family and friends of inmates.
“It doesn’t just make you worry, it angers you too, cause you wonder why maybe they aren’t doing more to resolve the situation. Cause I feel like they say they quarantine them, but if you quarantine people in the same building and then you’re having the same officers to go check on the sick, go back and check on the healthy people, I mean you’re just going to keep spreading it,” said Maness’ brother, Stacy.
In March, the Sheriff’s Office said it put emergency operating plans in place, which included significant adjustments to how they normally operate the facility. They added that they’ll continue to test and care for every employee and inmate and provide the safest facility possible under these rapidly evolving conditions.
At this point in time, there have been no reports of any inmate hospitalizations, all have been treated by WellPath, EPSO’s medical provider, at the CJC.
Since visitation remains closed due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, EPSO has set up video visitation through the following LINK.