Davis County evaluates risk to others after jail employee tests positive for COVID-19

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Davis County evaluates risk to others after jail employee tests positive for COVID-19 (Photo: KUTV FILE)

An employee of the Davis County Jail tested positive for COVID-19, the novel strain of coronavirus at the center of a global pandemic.

The county sheriff's office made the announcement in a press release on Tuesday, stating that the employee did not have contact with jail inmates.

"Although the employee did not have symptoms in the workplace, they did experience symptoms outside of the workplace and, unfortunately, tested positive for COVID-19," county media director Liz Sollis stated.

Other employees of the sheriff's office were evaluated for their risk of exposure and no one was determined to be at "high risk" of contracting the virus.

Multiple employees were found to have had moderate risk of exposure.

"We decided to exercise an abundance of caution and instructed those employees to stay out of the workplace until 14 days from exposure have expired," the media release states.

Employees found to be at "low risk" of exposure will continue working but will be evaluated three times per day to monitor any potential symptoms.

"No inmates, volunteers or others were at any risk for exposure and we remain committed to preventing and slowing the spread of COVID-19," according to the sheriff's office.

Sollis also laid out what preventative measures are being taken at the jail:

  • Temporary suspension of onsite visits, volunteer activities and programs
  • Reduction of jail population through good behavior (as authorized)
  • Collaboration with the county attorney and public defenders should the need arise to release non-violent offenders
  • A health screening on everyone who enters the jail, and taking staff temperatures prior to shifts
  • Preparation of a separate unit in the event of an active COVID-19 case in the units
  • Regularly reminding all staff to follow CDC prevention guidelines; specifically, social distancing and frequent hand washing
  • Ongoing conversations with Davis County Health Department

Effective Tuesday, inmates will spend 14 days in isolation units (segregated by gender), in which they will have "minimal" contact with others. They will be moved into general population on the fifteenth day if the exhibited no virus symptoms.