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Upshur County Sheriff’s Office suspends jail visitation after COVID-19 cases confirmed

(Hawaii News Now/File)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:35 PM CDT
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UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The Upshur County Sheriff’s Office confirms its first cases of COVID-19 within the Upshur County Jail, officials said on Tuesday.

According to a statement released by the sheriff’s office, approximately three weeks ago medical staff within the jail confirmed cases of the virus within the jail, among both inmates and employees, and mitigation steps were immediately implemented.

The U.C.S.O. Jail is coordinating with the Texas Jail Commission, the Texas State Health Department, and the local jail doctor as they work to deal with the illness. This includes the use of three negative pressure cells which were completed to assist with controlling spread of any contagious illness.

Visitation has been suspended for 30 days for safety of jail inmates, jail employees, and the public.

The sheriff’s office said these cases are the first confirmed cases within the jail since the beginning of the pandemic. Jail personnel, early in the pandemic, instituted vigorous cleaning and disinfecting policies that are believed to have made a significant difference in the effects of the illness on jail personnel and inmates to this point.

They add that no one to date has been hospitalized and current symptoms have been mild to moderate.

Since this illness is highly contagious, the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office said they have restricted the booking of inmates unless it is significantly necessary. Criminal cases will be filed on those persons who would have been arrested on-site, and warrants will be sought for these persons’ arrest when the illness subsides within the jail, the sheriff said.

Deputies will continue to arrest any persons who present an immediate threat to public safety.

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