All Dane County jail inmates to be tested for coronavirus
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The National Guard has been summoned to help test nearly 600 inmates at the Dane County Jail for COVID-19 on Monday.
Sheriff Kalvin Barrett says there are record high coronavirus cases at the jail, with nearly 90 inmates of the 597 incarcerated testing positive last week. As of Monday, Barrett reports there are 54 positive cases at the jail.
Barrett says the jail population usually decreased in the wintertime, but not this year when an abnormally high number of inmates is putting further stress on the facility. The sheriff says they are running out of space.
“We continue to take all precautions within our power to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Dane County Jail,” Barrett said. “However, this pandemic has highlighted the challenges we face with space needs in our jail. We have limited room to separate individuals and lack a medical area to isolate those who test positive, forcing us to utilize solitary confinement cells for COVID positive residents.”
The National Guard had previously tested the jail’s population at the onset of the pandemic.
The testing will take place on Jan. 10, though anyone who has tested positive in the past 90 days will be exempt from testing.
A representative from the Rock County Jail confirms the jail as 41 positive COVID-19 cases among inmates all in the same section, which is not considered an outbreak. The jail tests everyone when they enter and has them quarantine if they test positive.
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