UPDATE: Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron to require COVID-19 testing of all employees and inmates
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||Media Contact: Deanna LeBlanc|
|April 24, 2020|
NORFOLK, Va. - In an unprecedented effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus, Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron is now requiring COVID-19 testing of all Norfolk Sheriff’s Office employees and all inmates residing in the Norfolk City Jail.
This decision comes one day after Sentara Healthcare administered approximately 72 tests to inmates living on and staff working on the same floor as the first COVID-positive NCJ inmate. As of this release, 26 tests have come back positive, 3 have come back negative and 43 results are still pending. Of the 26 COVID-positives, nearly all were asymptomatic at the time of testing.
“This aggressive and proactive testing is the only way to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus,” Sheriff Joe Baron said. “Global pandemics pose a high risk to congregant-style facilities such as jails, and we cannot fight against an invisible enemy. Now that we have confirmed COVID-19 is in the Norfolk City Jail, it is imperative that we understand how far reaching it is. This will help us to develop a comprehensive plan to protect our inmates and staff. We will continue to work closely with the Norfolk Health Department and the Virginia Department of Health and follow their guidance.”
If you have questions about COVID-19 related impacts to the Norfolk City Jail, and for information on ongoing efforts to mitigate COVID-19, please visit our dedicated website: https://norfolk-sheriff.com/coronavirus.
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