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Three Monroe County jail deputies test positive for COVID-19

Monroe County Sheriffs Department

Monroe  County Sheriff’s officials say that three jail deputies have tested positive for COVID-19.

They say the deputies learned of the test results over the last few days, and when the sheriff’s department found out about the positive tests, officials began contact tracing. At this point, it is not known where or when the deputies contracted the coronavirus. Authorities say the contact tracing doesn’t show any particular connection among the deputies.

When officials reviewed video surveillance, they say it showed that protocols involving personal protective equipment were followed by the infected deputies every time they came in contact with the jail population, so they say no inmates were exposed to the virus.

The three deputies are quarantined at home as are all staff members who came in contact with them. Test results on those other staffers are pending.

Officials say as part of jail procedures everyone entering the jail is screened including temperature checks, and the entire jail population is also screened. None of the staff reported any symptoms.

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said that the department had established a COVID Command Post several months ago specifically to prepare for an event like this, and he says that allowed officials to respond quickly. The Sheriff's Office is continuing protocols that include providing masks and unlimited soap and water to inmates and personal protective equipment to every employee. Authorities say they work with the county's health department on a continuous basis to review procedures.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.