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Sheriff’s Office reports first COVID-19 case in general population of jail

By ThisIsReno
Washoe County Sheriff's Office. Image: Bob Conrad.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office today reported its first known case of COVID-19 in the general population of its detention facility.

The positive test came as a result of testing before a medical procedure offsite. The inmate is asymptomatic and isolated. The inmate is a federal inmate in the facility since February.

 “We have known for a long time that COVID-19 is an invisible enemy,” said Sheriff Darin Balaam. “The Sheriff’s Office has long-planned and expected that an inmate would test positive within our facility. We had procedures and plans in place for just this instance, and we immediately acted upon them. We will continue to work the plans and procedures we have in place because the health and safety of every member of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, the inmates and the members of the public who conduct necessary business at our Office is my number one priority.”

The Sheriff’s Office became aware of the positive result, and the housing unit where the positive inmate had been housed was placed in quarantine. Inmates in that housing unit were issued masks, and the positive inmate was moved to a negative pressured cell in the infirmary.

Staff members who were in contact with the inmate have been tested, and contact tracing is being conducted. Since July, inmates have been required to wear masks when moving between housing units and within other areas of the facility.

There have been six inmates since March who were identified through the intake and booking processes as being COVID-19 positive. Those inmates were isolated.



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