Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Monroe County Jail sees rise in COVID-19 cases

The Monroe County Jail currently charges more for inmates to make a phone call than almost anywhere in the state.
David Andreatta / CITY Newspaper

About one in ten inmates in Monroe County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19... that's 87 people out of 701 currently in the jail population.

A statement released by the County Sheriff's office Monday says half of the inmates with the virus have mild symptoms, and no one has been hospitalized so far. The others have no symptoms at all. About a quarter of all inmates are vaccinated, and the shots are available to all who want it.

In order to keep the spread under control, all inmates are quarantined for 14 days prior to joining the jail population. Once they’re moved into the jail, they’re tested weekly.

As of November, county jail visitations were limited to once per week.

To keep stress levels down and maintain connections with families, each inmate has access to a tablet to talk to them as well as a free video call and two free phone calls every week.

Sheriff's deputies have been tested daily before work for a year, and as of Monday, kitchen staff are being tested daily as well. Previously, the facility recently began testing the kitchen and commissary staff every other day.

The Sheriff’s Office said that it has been working with the Monroe County Department of Health to provide vaccinations to all inmates who would like one. Currently 189 out of the 701 inmates in the jail are vaccinated.

The Sheriff’s Office also said that its medical staff is working to bring in supplemental medical personnel from other district to the facility in Monroe County.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.