An inmate and three employees of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office have tested positive for COVID-19
One employee tested positive during a round of mass testing, bringing the total number of employees who have tested positive recently to three. An office employee and a corrections officer tested positive after close relatives tested positive.
“Our protocol is that if someone in the family or close to you tests positive, we don’t want you to come back to work until you’ve been tested and it comes back negative,” Sheriff Nick Smith said.
Approximately 307 inmates and around 40 jail personnel were tested. Smith received the results on Thursday.
“We’re trying to find these individuals that you’re not going to catch taking precautions like temperature checks. This is the only way to find the ones who are asymptomatic and are spreading the virus,” Smith said.
The inmate has been isolated in a medical dorm at the jail.
Though an exact figure was not yet available, Smith said that the county spent more than $20,000, which is reimbursable, on the round of testing.
Deputies are in line to be tested next. Approximately 400 tests will have been administered by the end of the first round.
A second round of mass testing will follow once the county has been reimbursed for this round, according to Smith.