FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Winnebago County Jail spikes in COVID-19 cases, adding 27 new cases within a week

Coronavirus

WINNEBAGO, Wis. (WFRV) – Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office has reported a rise in positive cases of COVID-19 in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, they have been working closely with the Winnebago County Public Health and the Corrections facility.

Deputies say in March they enacted extreme measures to incorporate a variety of recommendations, such as:

  • Isolating all new arrivals by placing them in a 14-day quarantine, restricting access to the facility
  • Enforcing mandatory mask wearing for both inmates and employees
  • Purchasing an extensive array of PPE and cleaning supplies

The Sheriff’s Office says the Winnebago County Jail has on-site nursing care 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, with access to medical professionals the remaining 8 hours a day.

They have been able to mitigate the exposure levels in the jail until recently, say deputies.

On Nov. 9, authorities say an inmate reported having symptoms of COVID-19 and was immediately removed from a group housing setting, was tested, and placed in a single cell for observation.

Nov. 13 they conducted mass testing of both inmates and jail staff.

By Nov. 18, authorities learned there were four active positive cases of COVID-19 among inmates. No staff tested positive.

Deputies say on Nov. 23 they conducted another follow-up mass testing for inmates. By Nov. 25, they learned an additional 27 inmates came back with active positive cases for COVID-19.

The Sheriff’s Office says most affected inmates are either asymptomatic or experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms and all positive inmates remain housed within the Winnebago County Jail.

There will be more testing with the Winnebago County Public Health, Winnebago County Emergency Management, and the Wisconsin National Guard in an effort to control the spread, say authorities.

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