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

Winnebago Co. deputies concerned with inmate safety as COVID-19 cases rise, request large grant to update jailing facility

Local News

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – As Winnebago County reaches a high level of COVID-19 activity, local law enforcement are concerned for the health and safety of inmates and staff due to the close living quarters.

On August 10, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections reported that nearly 70 percent of eligible inmates in Wisconsin prisons have been fully vaccinated, however, with everyone not fully vaccinated and the recent rise in COVID-19 cases within the area, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office is searching for funding to ensure safety in its jailing facility.

For that reason, the Sheriff’s Office is requesting county officials to approve a coronavirus grant that would be used to update an area within the jail to better help mitigate COVID-19 transmission.

The grant up for approval will total $148,000 and would be used to update existing single cells by removing the metal meshwork and replacing it with a correctional grade safety glass.

Deputies reportedly chose this upgrade because plexiglass material is better at creating physical barriers between inmates who are placed in quarantine than the existing metal mesh in place, therefore, reducing the chance of inmates spreading the virus to one another.

The Sheriff’s Office plans to know more on whether or not their COVID-19 grant request was accepted by the Winnebago County Board on August 17. Local 5 will continue to update the story as it develops.

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