TOWNS COUNTY, Ga – COVID-19 has flared up in Towns County Detention Center with one inmate testing positive on April 21 and four officers quarantining themselves.
Towns County Sheriff’s Office listed a timeline of events on their Facebook page on April 24 detailing procedures since the initial government shutdown.
On April 19, an inmate was transported to Union General Hospital for treatment, and on April 21, the sheriff’s office received confirmation that the inmate had tested positive for COVID-19.
“All Sheriff’s Office personnel who were tasked with providing security on him at the hospital were provided with PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to use during their assigned shifts and reminded to practice the recommended 6-foot buffer zone,” stated Towns Sheriff’s Office.
Law enforcement also consulted with the health department to follow COVID-19 protocols, which as of April 11 state that any essential worker potentially exposed to the virus can continue to work if not exhibiting symptoms, wear a facemask, and maintain six feet of distance from all coworkers.
Officers exposed to the confirmed inmate case are considered low risk by the health department if they followed CDC and Georgia Public Health Department guidelines. However, officers displaying COVID-19 symptoms move into the high-risk category.
On April 23, the detention center was sanitized by a company approved by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, while sheriff’s administrative office received cleaning on April 24 from County Emergency Management.
According to the sheriff’s office, the jail inmate area is cleaned three times daily since March 16. Also, all incoming inmates and detention center staff are screened for COVID-19.
Also, two detention center officers received COVID-19 testing on April 23 after experiencing mild symptoms. They are awaiting results while quarantining at home.
On April 24, two more officers were presenting symptoms and are in quarantine. One individual has taken the test, and the other is awaiting approval to take it.
According to the sheriff’s office, health department personnel explained that only law enforcement individuals with COVID-19 symptoms will receive a test.
The statement ended with, “The Sheriff’s Office has and will continue to take all recommended precautions and guidelines from the health department, GEMA, and CDC to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to the community, inmates, and staff.”
Fetch Your News will update this story as more information becomes available.