After positive test, quick response limits coronavirus in Madison County Jail

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – A confirmed test of the coronavirus in an employees sent the Madison County Detention Center staff into action earlier this week.

As a result, county officials say they think they’ve limited the outbreak to the staff member, who has been isolting at home, and one inmate who also tested positive who also is being isolated.

People who’ve had contact with either also are being advised, tested and quarantined where necessary, according to the jail.

“Within four hours of notice, White House Clinics began testing employees and inmates at the Detention Center. At the conclusion of the testing, 296 individuals, which account for 34 employees and 262 inmates, were tested,” Jailer Steve Tussey said of the response that started Monday once the first case was confirmed.

“Upon notification of our first positive case, we took swift action to ensure the safety of all staff and inmates by requesting immediate testing,” said Madison County Jailer Steve Tussey. “We cannot thank the team at White House Clinics enough for their willingness to partner with us in getting expedited testing at our facility.”

Friday morning, the jail received all results back confirming the additional case in an inmate who has been in the Detention Center since prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and has had no contact with anyone outside of the jail facility.

The employee who tested positive, as well as those exposed, have been quarantined for the CDC recommended 14 days and will not return to work until a secondary test is returned as negative, Tussey said.

The inmate who tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those exposed, will be quarantined and not released back to general population until a secondary test is returned as negative, the jailer added.

The Madison County Health Department is contact tracing all positive cases.

“The Madison County Detention Center team has used the utmost caution throughout the pandemic to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our facility,” said Tussey. “All employees and outside vendors entering the jail are temperature tested, wear proper PPE including face coverings, and are asked the standard CDC COVID-19 questions. In addition, inmates upon intake are temperature tested and complete CDC COVID-19 questions as well as are quarantined for 14 days before entering general population and have been using technology instead of in person visits for family and legal communication.”

The state Department of Corrections suspended the transport of prisoners to other facilities. In addition, the jail may not refuse intake of inmates simply due to a positive test in the Detention Center. For this reason, there will be no change in COVID-19 intake procedure, Tussey explained

Since the pandemic began, the Detention Center has seen reduced numbers of inmates due to the cooperation of local law enforcement and the judicial branch.

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