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Local & State

COVID-19 infections spike in Mecklenburg Detention Center
43 confirmed cases among inmates since June
 
Published Sunday, July 26, 2020 11:00 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

MECKLENBURG COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
COVID-19 infections are spiking in the Mecklenburg County Detention Center since June when the first confirmed case among inmates was recorded.

COVID-19 is spreading in the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.

The Sheriff’s Office reported Friday 43 infections among inmates since June 10 when the first confirmed case was detected in an out of state transfer to the facility. The individual was isolated per department protocol and tested. Nine detention officers have tested positive for the virus since March.

No COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths from the center have been reported.

“I care deeply for the residents housed in our detention center and the personnel and service providers that work in this high-risk environment,” Sheriff Garry McFadden said in a statement. “Since the start of this pandemic we have worked hard and aggressively in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic even before the rapid spread of the virus in Mecklenburg County. I want to ensure that we keep our detention centers safe and provide the best possible care for our residents. Considering new research showing that many people carrying the coronavirus experience few or no symptoms, I think it’s prudent that we continue to expand the testing of our resident population as a proactive approach in our response to this pandemic.”

Department officials say they’re working with healthcare provider Wellpath and Mecklenburg County Public Health to mitigate the outbreak in the state’s largest municipal detention center with 1,350 incarcerated people.

Every inmate entering the facility is screened for symptoms, given a face covering and placed in isolation for two weeks. Detention center officials also report difficulty with new admissions – around 45 daily according to the Sheriff’s Office – accurately communicating their symptoms in order to avoid quarantine. Without accurate reporting, there’s greater risk of exposure and spread of the virus.

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