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More than 200 quarantined in Monroe County Jail coronavirus outbreak

Dec 4, 2020

Coronavirus cases at the Monroe County Jail have nearly doubled in a matter of days, and quadrupled since last week. 

As of Friday morning, 33 inmates and 24 jail staff have tested positive for the coronavirus. That puts the positivity rate in the jail at about 4%, lower than the county’s 7.17% rate as of Friday afternoon.

Credit Monroe County Jail

There are 173 inmates in quarantine within two housing units while 38 jail staff are in self-quarantine. Inmates who tested positive, are symptomatic, or are presumed positive, are being quarantined in one housing unit. One inmate is in the hospital in stable condition.

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said on Thursday that, in his opinion, the jail has some of the safest practices across the county.

“I think the fact that we have cases in the jail, even in spite of all of the precautions in place, just goes to show how contagious this virus is,” he said. “As we dig into the details of the contact tracing, very likely it will look like any other situation where you have both staff and the residents, or staff and the inmates, who are both sharing in the responsibility of the spread because it is just that contagious.”

In a statement on Friday, Mendoza added that the county has been working closely with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office since the beginning of the pandemic to protect the health and safety of those inside the jail by taking extensive precautions. 

Dr. Michael Mendoza is the Monroe County public health commissioner.
Credit Monroe County

“The jail has been able to prevent infection for many months. However, COVID-19 has demonstrated it will take advantage of even a slight opportunity to spread,” he said. “We hope that all public employees in Monroe County recognize the importance of mask wearing and social distancing, both in and out of the workplace, as we strive to beat this pandemic.”  

The sheriff’s office said that they are continuing their intensive sanitation practices and have stopped moving inmates around the jail. While social visits are suspended, no-contact visits with lawyers and other professionals are still allowed.

If you need to check in on a loved one inside the Monroe County Jail you can call 585-753-4021.